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Top Carding Caribbean Stud

Caribbean Stud (CS) is not a common game in U.S. casinos, but worldwide it continues to have a strong presence. CS has a well-known vulnerability to player collusion, where a full table of seven players can get a practical edge of about 1.4% over the house (see this post). Another way AP teams have beaten CS is by edge sorting, which gives a much stronger edge of about 6.9% (see this post).

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
May 7, 2014

Card Counting the Buster Blackjack Side Bet, 2 Decks

In this post, I discussed card counting the Buster Blackjack (BBJ) side bet in the six-deck case. The player wins the BBJ side bet if the dealer busts. The payout is based on the number of cards in the dealer’s busted hand, with a top payout for an 8+ card dealer busted hand. There are at least eight different pay tables offered with BBJ.  I developed card counting systems for two distinct groups of these pay tables.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
April 29, 2013

Card Counting the Shortie Blackjack Side Bet

Shortie (SBJ) is a blackjack side bet that is an extreme version of the “Under 13” bet (see this post). Quite simply, SBJ wins if the player’s first two cards total 9 or less (where Aces always count as 1). Note that if the player is dealt a Nine or a ten-valued card, then obviously his SBJ wager immediately loses. For this reason, it should come as little surprise that SBJ is highly countable.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
December 7, 2014

Card Counting the Lucky Lucky Blackjack Side Bet

The “Lucky Lucky” (LL) blackjack side bet has payouts based on the player’s two cards and the dealer’s up-card. After the player makes the LL bet, the values of the player’s two cards and dealer’s up card are summed. Hands that total 19, 20 or 21 are winners, with bonuses for suited hands and for the hands 6-7-8 and 7-7-7. All other hands lose. As usual for blackjack, an Ace counts as 1 or 11. From 2009 through early 2012, this wager was licensed through Gaming Network, Inc. Unfortunately, Gaming Network dissolved in April of 2012.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
August 2, 2012

Top Carding Three Card Poker

A few months back I was delivering a game protection seminar at a casino that was locked down tight. They had no obvious issues, so I was struggling to find something meaningful to present to them. As I examined their Three Card Poker (3CP), I observed it was dealt from an iDeal shuffler. The cards were made by one of the top companies (Angel), hence no edge sorting. The shuffler was placed by the dealer’s left hand, with the discard tray on the dealer’s right side, which is the preferred setup.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
May 10, 2014

Three Card Poker Hole-Card Play: Update #1

Hole-carding 3CP was one of the first advanced plays I was involved with. Back in 2002, when I saw a dealer flash her hole-card in 3CP at my local casino, I was excited and quickly computed optimal strategy and the edge. I thought this was a one-off, that I would not see 3CP hole-cards anywhere else. Imagine my surprise and delight when I went to Las Vegas and saw dealers flashing their hole-cards in casinos everywhere.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 12, 2015

Three Card Poker and the Ace Shuffler Hole-Carding Bias

Back in 1997, during one of my early outings as a blackjack card counter, I saw my first automatic shuffling machine. This one had metal arms that attempted to duplicate the physical act of shuffling like a human might do. As you may expect, the thing was awful at its job. Clumps of cards fell through the process virtually untouched. It was clumsy, sloppy and noisy. If I had any sense at the time, I would have pummeled the thing.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
May 31, 2013

Card Counting the Lucky Ladies Blackjack Side Bet

Of all the currently available side bets for blackjack, the news that Lucky Ladies (LL) is vulnerable to card counting has been out the longest. The reason is simple: LL pays for any player total of 20, so ten-valued cards are a premium. This is exactly the same situation the counter wants for the main game of blackjack. The bulk of the effort of early APs was to quantify the profit attainable by using one of the standard card counting systems against LL, like the High-Low system.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
August 8, 2012