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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

Introduction to Gaming Mathematics

I often receive E-mail from readers asking me to explain the mathematics that I present in the posts in this blog. This material can be very challenging for someone with little background in probability theory or statistics. With that in mind, I wrote a small booklet on gaming mathematics. If you want to better understand the material presented here, I offer you:

Introduction to Gaming Mathematics

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
March 12, 2013

James Grosjean

In June of 2005, I was busy playing Three Card Poker in a downtown Las Vegas casino as a member of a “team.” By no means were we a serious group of APs.  Our team consisted of a friend who traveled with two others from Florida for their semi-annual vacation to Las Vegas. Together, we had been hole-carding Three Card Poker  for several years, making tens of dollars in profit. On this particular day, I learned that just down the street an important trial was coming to an end.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
October 12, 2012

Galaxy Gaming and Game Protection

I am hesitant to address a company by name, but I have something very good to say about Galaxy Gaming, so I doubt they will mind. Back in August, 2003, when I published my article on Lucky Ladies in the e-zine "Blackjack Insider" (see this post), I was still an advantage player. At the time, absolutely everyone who sent e-mail to me to discuss games was also an advantage player. They were all looking for an edge. Aside from being backed off, I had virtually no contact with the other side of the tables.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
November 2, 2013

Hole-Carding, 101

One of the largest leaps a young advantage player (AP) makes early in his career is the realization that ordinary blackjack card counting is an essentially worthless pursuit.  Seeing his first hole-card opens a panorama of potential income never before considered. The first question is if it’s legal; few advantage players want to cross the thin blue line into cheating. At the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas on November 22, 1983, Steven Einbinder and Tonly Dalben were caught hole-carding, with Dalben signaling the hole card to Einbinder.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 6, 2017

How to Win at Blackjack With 10 Legal Methods

In this article I am going to summarize ten legal methods to beat blackjack. Before I do, I want to remind the reader of some methods that definitely do not work. These include progression systems, timing/discipline, looking for hot tables & dealers, lucky charms and many others. Pseudo-science and mythology are prevalent in many casino games, but blackjack has a mystique that somehow brings out the idiot-potential in the most educated of players.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
February 2, 2017

Conspicuously Absent: Pai Gow Poker

For years I have looked at the popular game of Pai Gow Poker (PGP) and scratched my head. How can it be beat? For example, hole-cards are often exposed by sloppy dealers, but seeing one (or even a couple) of dealer hole-cards does little to help the advantage player. Card counting is not possible (the deck is shuffled between rounds). For edge sorting, the success of the sort usually relies on key cards, for example, AKQ for 3CP, AKQJ for MS, AKQJT for BJ. What are the key cards for PGP? Is tracking the joker enough?

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
October 21, 2013