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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

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

Protecting Proprietary Games

Recently, I’ve been looking at a lot of new proprietary games for game protection weaknesses. I’ve long been interested in this subject, dating back to my decade of play as an advantage player. But now it’s just getting downright silly. Every time I turn around, I find another game with a weakness. There’s hardly enough time to write the articles or do the analysis to keep up with the opportunities. If I had started my play today instead of in the haze of card counting smoky, single deck games, I may have stayed the course.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 24, 2012

Married to the Blackjack Tables

For about 8 years, I lived the life of an undisciplined low limit card counter.  I had all the usual issues that keep guys like me from the big time. I struggled to make the large wagers when the count was high. I played too long. I chatted with management, drawing attention to myself. I didn’t hide my skills by using cover plays. It is guys like me, however, that casinos obsess over: weak, unthreatening and barely profitable hobbyists.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 25, 2012