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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

7 Reasons to NEVER Count Cards

The very first thing people think about when the topic of beating casinos comes up is blackjack card counting. The reason is simple - card counting is everywhere in our culture. For example, an Amazon.com search on books written about "blackjack card counting" returns 182 titles. Even more amazing, a Google search on "blackjack card counting" returns 363,000 results.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
January 25, 2017

Beating the 21+3 Blackjack Side Bet

The “21 + 3” blackjack side bet is based on examining the player’s two cards and the dealer’s up-card. If the three cards form a flush, straight, three-of-a-kind or straight flush, the player wins. In the original version, the payout for each of these was 9-to-1. With this pay table, the game has a house edge of 3.2386%. Recently, new pay tables have been introduced that have higher house edges and greater volatility.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
August 7, 2012

Card Counting in Baccarat

From time to time the question of card counting in baccarat comes up. Because baccarat is dealt from a shoe, it follows that the odds for the banker/player/tie bets change as cards are dealt. As more and more cards are dealt, a counter will get an ever more precise estimation of the composition of the cards that remain. If conditions are just right, the counter may get an opportunity towards the end of the shoe to make a wager with an advantage. All of this is absolutely true. It is possible to make a wager in baccarat with an edge over the house, using a card counting system.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 25, 2012

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.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
April 25, 2013

Baccarat: The Known Card

Though the game of baccarat appears quite safe to the untrained eye, there are many ways that APs attack baccarat. Some of these methods are targets of opportunity, for example dealers who expose the first card of the next round. Others occur because of perks for high rollers, like dead-chip or loss-rebate programs. There are APs who negotiate specific rule changes that allow methods like edge sorting. Some APs take advantage of long-standing procedural flaws, like the ribbon spread.  And then there are all the other ways, whatever they are. This post concerns the "known card."

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
August 13, 2012

A.P Heat! - All Posts by Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.

To the readers and followers of APHeat, you are no doubt wondering about this new look. About a year ago I set a retirement date of late 2017 - that's right, retirement. It's an odd word because my post-retirement schedule is already jammed full.  As part of my retirement planning, I wanted to find a great company to continue to host my blog. 

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
November 8, 2016

The Not-So-Illustrious 18

Illustrious: (1) clear, conspicuous, distinguished (2) famous, eminent, outstanding. – Webster’s New World College Dictionary ©, 1996

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
February 20, 2014