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Ultimate Three Card Poker Hole-Card Play

The game of Ultimate Three Card Poker is a version of Three Card Poker where the dealer exposes one of his three cards before the player acts. It may seem that this solves the ubiquitous "hole-card" problem for Three Card Poker, especially if the card that is flipped face-up is the bottom card from the three-card packet delivered by the shuffle machine. However, it is still possible that the player sees one of the two remaining dealer hole-cards. I considered how to beat the game in this unlikely circumstance.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 29, 2012

Ultimate Texas Hold'em Hole-Card Play: Two Dealer Cards

Ultimate Texas Hold'em (UTH) must surely be the most widely available and profitable opportunity for hole-card play right now. Over the last few months, I finally took this challenging game to task and wrote a series of articles about various hole-carding situations the player might encounter. I thought I had covered it all until an AP recently contacted me and asked about the edge he could get if he couldsee both dealer hole-cards before acting.

Wow! Is this stuff for real? Are there really dealers out there exposing both of their hole-cards at UTH?

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
August 9, 2015

Fear, Loathing and Blackjack Side Bets

The use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end is called “fear mongering.” One of the most infamous cases of using this tactic was Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” commercial, which was used it in his 1964 election campaign against Senator Barry Goldwater (watch it here).

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
December 26, 2013

Card Counting the Buster Blackjack Side Bet, 6 Decks

One of the most common blackjack side bets in California card rooms is known as Buster Blackjack (BBJ).  I found this documentation online. The player who makes the BBJ wager wins if the dealer busts. The payout is then based on the total number of cards in the dealer’s busted hand.  There are a lot of details to share, so I’ve decided to break up the discussion into the six-deck case and the two-deck case. This article covers card counting BBJ in a six-deck shoe game.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
April 25, 2013

Ultimate Texas Hold'em Basic Strategy and House Edge

Ultimate Texas Hold'em (UTH) is one of the most popular novelty games in the market. For that reason, it is important to understand the multitude of ways that UTH may be vulnerable to advantage play. Many of my recent posts have concerned some of these possibilities. But the computations are tedious. It took my computer 5 days to run the cycle where the AP sees one dealer hole-card (see this post).

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 1, 2015

Card Counting the Slingo Bonus Bet 21 Blackjack Side Bet

I was visiting a casino in August, 2011 when I noticed a side bet on the table I had not seen before: “Slingo Bonus Bet 21.” The bet pays purely on the total of the player’s two cards, with an Ace counting 11. I could tell right away that the bet was countable.  One of the wagers the player could make was that his hand would be a blackjack. The pay table odds of 19-to-1 are near the true odds of about 20-to-1. Only a couple of extra low cards dealt out would give the player the edge.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 9, 2012

Card Counting the Dealer Bust 21 Blackjack Side Bet

At G2E (2013) this year I saw a side bet that seemed very familiar to me, Dealer Bust 21 (DB21), at the TCS John Huxley booth (as of August, 2016, DB21 is offered by AGS). DB21 is yet another blackjack side bet that pays if the dealer busts. This one has a unique distinction: I was the mathematician who did the original mathematical analysis.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
December 4, 2013

Ultimate Texas Hold'em: Basic Strategy and Beyond

Ultimate Texas Hold'em (UTH) is one of the most popular novelty games in the U.S. For example, only Three Card Poker and Let it Ride have more placements in Nevada. What makes UTH so successful is its similarity to Hold'em poker together with the chance for a huge payday if the player makes a top hand. There are a number of advantage play opportunities against UTH, foremost of which is hole-card play. With the dealer receiving two hidden cards, and with five hidden Flop and Turn/River cards, the astute AP may acquire significant information in advance of making his betting decisions.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
May 16, 2015