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The “Best Game” at Raving’s Cutting Edge Table Games Conference

One of the most interesting aspects of this conference was a competition between the table games for best game. Each participant in the conference was given the opportunity to vote on the games. To be eligible to vote, the participant had to play each game. This play is certified: after a game was played, the vendor stamped a card. Only a participant with a full card could vote.

Here is a sample stamp-card.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
December 14, 2012

Is Your Shuffle Procedure All Mixed Up?

Things are really mixed up. At least, they should be. I’ve been thinking about commonalities between recent successes that some players have had against casinos. While the cultural and casino industry obsession with card counters is not fading, the powerful methods advantage players and cheaters use to beat the house continue on in relative obscurity. Many of these methods share one thing in common: they exploit some weakness in the shuffle procedure.

Continued here …

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
May 7, 2016

The Not-So-Ideal iDEAL Shuffler

The Ace automatic shuffler has many game security problems, the most serious of which is its propensity to encourage hole-card exposure by even highly trained dealers. (See my blog post "Little Ace of Horrors.") After many years of fighting that battle, Shuffle Master finally gave up the cause. In its place, Shuffle Master created the iDEAL automatic shuffler, pictured here correctly installed on a Three Card Poker table (picture from Shuffle Master web site):

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 12, 2012

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $1075

A recent article in the Lehigh Valley Live discussed a New Jersey man, Ikwaan Anin Dobbins, who was accused of cheating at Three Card Poker. What this goofball allegedly did was to “swap cards” (also called card mucking) to give himself better hands. This method of cheating involves playing more than one hand at a time, and switching cards between the two hands to improve one or both of the hands.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
May 11, 2015

Simulations, Combinatorial Analysis and Biscuits

It's a math geek thing. People who don't understand what I do often think that everything is simulated. I can't tell you how many times my work has been misunderstood as entirely simulations - that I let a random number generator play some very large number of hands to figure out everything from the house edge and game strategy, to counting systems and the edges from various types of advantage play.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
April 1, 2016

My "Backrooming" Experience

Many people on both sides of the table are aware that some sort of (alleged) incident may have happened to me in June, 2005 that precipitated a change in my hobby as an AP. I have never before shared the details of this incident (if it happened). Two different lawyer(s) stated that based on the terms of the settlement (if any), I am free to present this account (if it really happened), as long as it is given in a way that maintains full confidentiality of both the casino (if any) and the terms of the settlement (if any).

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 17, 2012

Phil Ivey and Yellow Journalism

This week, Phil Ivey filed suit against Crockfords Casino for over eleven million U.S. dollars in baccarat winnings that were confiscated from him after a three-day monster win in October of 2012. The news here is not that Phil Ivey won this money or that Crockford’s withheld his winnings. The new news is that Phil Ivey is suing Crockfords to get his money back. As part of this law suit, details were given that offered an explanation of what Ivey did to amass his huge win, and because of this, the world now knows about “edge sorting.”

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
May 20, 2013

Little Ace of Horrors

The opportunity to see a hole-card is one of the most advantageous situations an AP can find. Because blackjack is so abundant, it is usually the first game that is considered when an AP scouts a casino. In blackjack, the edge can get over 10% by hole-carding. But that's a small edge by comparison with the edge obtainable by seeing the hole-card in some proprietary games.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 7, 2012