Casino design and why the house always wins

If the hand value exceeds 21 points, it busts, and all bets on it are immediately forfeit. A number may be backed along with the two numbers on the either side of it in a 5-chip bet. The Eagle slot, which was a symbol of American liberty, was a house slot that brought the casino extra edge. Conjure up an urban world where apparently friendly young ladies all turn out to be somewhere between odd and crazy. The Big Fish Guarantee: Play Now Download the free trial This game will not work on your operating system. In European casinos, "no hole card" games are prevalent; the dealer's second card is neither drawn nor consulted until the players have all played their hands.

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Natalie Brooks: Secrets of Treasure House

This short story was written between and , implying that ventiuna was played in Castile since the beginning of the 17th century or earlier. Later references to this game are found in France and Spain. When twenty-one was introduced in the United States, gambling houses offered bonus payouts to stimulate players' interest.

One such bonus was a ten-to-one payout if the player's hand consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack either the jack of clubs or the jack of spades. This hand was called a "blackjack", and the name stuck to the game even though the ten-to-one bonus was soon withdrawn. In the modern game, a blackjack refers to any hand of an ace plus a ten or face card regardless of suits or colors.

The first scientific and mathematically sound attempt to devise an optimal blackjack playing strategy was revealed in September This paper would become the foundation of all future sound efforts to beat the game of blackjack. At a casino blackjack table, the dealer faces five to seven playing positions from behind a semicircular table.

Between one and eight standard card decks are shuffled together. At the beginning of each round, up to three players can place their bets in the "betting box" at each position in play. That is, there could be up to three players at each position at a table in jurisdictions that allow back betting. The player whose bet is at the front of the betting box is deemed to have control over the position, and the dealer will consult the controlling player for playing decisions regarding the hand; the other players of that box are said to "play behind".

Any player is usually allowed to control or bet in as many boxes as desired at a single table, but it is prohibited for an individual to play on more than one table at a time or to place multiple bets within a single box. Each box is dealt an initial hand of two cards visible to the people playing on it, and often to any other players. The dealer's hand receives its first card face up, and in "hole card" games immediately receives its second card face down the hole card , which the dealer peeks at but does not reveal unless it makes the dealer's hand a blackjack.

Hole card games are sometimes played on tables with a small mirror or electronic sensor that is used to peek securely at the hole card. In European casinos, "no hole card" games are prevalent; the dealer's second card is neither drawn nor consulted until the players have all played their hands. Cards are dealt either from one or two handheld decks, from a dealer's shoe , or from a shuffling machine. Single cards are dealt to each wagered-on position clockwise from the dealer's left, followed by a single card to the dealer, followed by an additional card to each of the positions in play.

The players' initial cards may be dealt face up or face down more common in single-deck games. On their turn, players must choose whether to "hit" take a card , "stand" end their turn , "double" double wager, take a single card and finish , "split" if the two cards have the same value, separate them to make two hands or "surrender" give up a half-bet and retire from the game. Number cards count as their natural value; the jack, queen, and king also known as "face cards" or "pictures" count as 10; aces are valued as either 1 or 11 according to the player's choice.

If the hand value exceeds 21 points, it busts, and all bets on it are immediately forfeit. After all boxes have finished playing, the dealer's hand is resolved by drawing cards until the hand busts or achieves a value of 17 or higher a dealer total of 17 including an ace, or "soft 17", must be drawn to in some games and must stand in others.

The dealer never doubles, splits, or surrenders. If the dealer busts, all remaining player hands win. If the dealer does not bust, each remaining bet wins if its hand is higher than the dealer's, and loses if it is lower. If a player receives 21 on the 1st and 2nd card it is considered a "natural" or "blackjack" and the player is paid out immediately unless dealer also has a natural, in which case the hand ties.

In the case of a tied score, known as "push" or "standoff", bets are normally returned without adjustment; however, a blackjack beats any hand that is not a blackjack, even one with a value of Wins are paid out at 1: Many casinos today pay blackjacks at less than 3: Blackjack games almost always provide a side bet called insurance, which may be played when dealer's upcard is an ace. Additional side bets, such as "Dealer Match" which pays when the player's cards match the dealer's up card, are sometimes available.

After receiving an initial two cards, the player has up to four standard options: Each option has a corresponding hand signal. Some games give the player a fifth option, "surrender". Hand signals are used to assist the " eye in the sky ", a person or video camera located above the table and sometimes concealed behind one-way glass. The eye in the sky usually makes a video recording of the table, which helps in resolving disputes and identifying dealer mistakes, and is also used to protect the casino against dealers who steal chips or players who cheat.

The recording can further be used to identify advantage players whose activities, while legal, make them undesirable customers. In the event of a disagreement between a player's hand signals and their words, the hand signal takes precedence.

Each hand may normally "hit" as many times as desired so long as the total is not above hard On reaching 21 including soft 21 , the hand is normally required to stand; busting is an irrevocable loss and the players' wagers are immediately forfeited to the house. After a bust or a stand, play proceeds to the next hand clockwise around the table. When the last hand has finished being played, the dealer reveals the hole card, and stands or draws further cards according to the rules of the game for dealer drawing.

When the outcome of the dealer's hand is established, any hands with bets remaining on the table are resolved usually in counterclockwise order: If the dealer's upcard is an ace, the player is offered the option of taking "insurance" before the dealer checks the hole card.

Insurance is a side bet that the dealer has blackjack and is treated independently of the main wager. The idea is that the dealer's second card has a fairly high probability nearly one-third to be ten-valued, giving the dealer blackjack and disappointment for the player. It is attractive although not necessarily wise for the player to insure against the possibility of a dealer blackjack by making a maximum "insurance" bet, in which case the "insurance proceeds" will make up for the concomitant loss on the original bet.

The player may add up to half the value of their original bet to the insurance and these extra chips are placed on a portion of the table usually marked "Insurance pays 2 to 1". Players with a blackjack may also take insurance, and in taking maximum insurance they commit themselves to winning an amount exactly equal to their main wager, regardless of the dealer's outcome. Fully insuring a blackjack against blackjack is thus referred to as "taking even money", and paid out immediately, before the dealer's hand is resolved; the players do not need to place more chips for the insurance wager.

Insurance bets are expected to lose money in the long run, because the dealer is likely to have blackjack less than one-third of the time. However the insurance outcome is strongly anti-correlated with that of the main wager, and if the player's priority is to reduce variation , they might choose to pay for this. Furthermore, the insurance bet is susceptible to advantage play. It is advantageous to make an insurance bet whenever the hole card has more than a chance of one in three of being a ten.

Advantage play techniques can sometimes identify such situations. In a multi-hand, face-up, single deck game, it is possible to establish whether insurance is a good bet simply by observing the other cards on the table after the deal; even if there are just 2 player hands exposed, and neither of their two initial cards is a ten, then 16 in 47 of the remaining cards are tens, which is larger than 1 in 3, so insurance is a good bet.

This is an elementary example of the family of advantage play techniques known as card counting. Bets to insure against blackjack are slightly less likely to be advantageous than insurance bets in general, since the ten in the player's blackjack makes it less likely that the dealer has blackjack too.

The rules of casino blackjack are generally determined by law or regulation, which establishes certain rule variations allowed at the discretion of the casino. The rules of any particular game are generally posted on or near the table, failing which there is an expectation that casino staff will provide them on request.

Over variations of blackjack have been documented. As with all casino games, blackjack incorporates a "house edge", a statistical advantage for the casino that is built into the game.

The advantage of the dealer's position in blackjack relative to the player comes from the fact that if the player busts, the player loses, regardless of whether the dealer subsequently busts. The loss rate of players who deviate from basic strategy through ignorance is generally expected to be greater. Surrender, for those games that allow it, is usually not permitted against a dealer blackjack; if the dealer's first card is an ace or ten, the hole card is checked to make sure there is no blackjack before surrender is offered.

This rule protocol is consequently known as "late" surrender. The alternative, "early" surrender, gives player the option to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack, or in a no-hole-card game. Early surrender is much more favorable to the player than late surrender. Most medium-strength hands should be surrendered against a dealer Ace if the hole card has not been checked.

For late surrender, however, while it is tempting to opt for surrender on any hand which will probably lose, the correct strategy is to only surrender on the very worst hands, because having even a one in four chance of winning the full bet is better than losing half the bet and pushing the other half, as entailed by surrendering.

With no hole card, it is almost never correct basic strategy to double or split against a dealer ten or ace, since a dealer blackjack will result in the loss of the split and double bets; the only exception is with a pair of A's against a dealer 10, where it is still correct to split. In all other cases, a stand, hit or surrender is called for. For instance, holding 11 against a dealer 10, the correct strategy is to double in a hole card game where the player knows the dealer's second card is not an ace , but to hit in a no hole card game.

The no hole card rule adds approximately 0. The "original bets only" rule variation appearing in certain no hole card games states that if the player's hand loses to a dealer blackjack, only the mandatory initial bet "original" is forfeited, and all optional bets, meaning doubles and splits, are pushed.

Each blackjack game has a basic strategy , which is playing a hand of any total value against any dealer's up-card, which loses the least money to the house in the long term. An example of basic strategy is shown in the table below, and includes the following parameters: The bulk of basic strategy is common to all blackjack games, with most rule variations calling for changes in only a few situations. For example, if the above game used the hit on soft 17 rule, common in Las Vegas Strip casinos, only 6 cells of the table would need to be changed: A, surrender 15 or 17 vs.

A, double on A,7 vs. Also when playing basic strategy never take insurance or "even money. Estimates of the house edge for blackjack games quoted by casinos and gaming regulators are generally based on the assumption that the players follow basic strategy and do not systematically change their bet size.

Most blackjack games have a house edge of between 0. Casino promotions such as complimentary matchplay vouchers or 2: Basic strategy is based upon a player's point total and the dealer's visible card. Players may be able to improve on this decision by considering the precise composition of their hand, not just the point total.

For example, players should ordinarily stand when holding 12 against a dealer 4. However, in a single deck game, players should hit if their 12 consists of a 10 and a 2. The presence of a 10 in the player's hand has two consequences: However, even when basic and composition-dependent strategy lead to different actions, the difference in expected reward is small, and it becomes even smaller with more decks.

Using a composition-dependent strategy rather than basic strategy in a single deck game reduces the house edge by 4 in 10,, which falls to 3 in , for a six-deck game. Blackjack has been a high-profile target for advantage players since the s.

Advantage play is the attempt to win more using skills such as memory, computation, and observation. These techniques, while generally legal, can be powerful enough to give the player a long-term edge in the game, making them an undesirable customer for the casino and potentially leading to ejection or blacklisting if they are detected. The main techniques of advantage play in blackjack are as follows:.

During the course of a blackjack shoe, the dealer exposes the dealt cards. Careful accounting of the exposed cards allows a player to make inferences about the cards which remain to be dealt. These inferences can be used in the following ways:.

A card counting system assigns a point score to each rank of card e. When a card is exposed, a counter adds the score of that card to a running total, the 'count'. A card counter uses this count to make betting and playing decisions according to a table which they have learned. The count starts at 0 for a freshly shuffled deck for "balanced" counting systems. A film showing, that even in the most forgotten movie, Scorsese always is terrific.

When it's after midnight in New York City, you don't have to look for love, laughter and trouble. They'll all find you! One of Martin Scorsese's most underrated films. It was made in , and I can already see the techniques Scorsese used in Goodfellas and the quick editing. It is directed and edited really well. So if you were a fan of Scorsese's frantic camera work in Goodfellas and Casino, this film is for you. It really does put you on edge as a viewer, you really want Dunne's character to get back home but everything possible that could happen to him happens.

This is not just a evocation of soHo in the early 80's, it is a deeply black comedy. All the rules go out the window for Dunne's character, because after all it is after hours. Overall, however, "After Hours" is an enjoyable film. It is an especially good choice to gain a sense of perspective. Not many ongoing experiences can be worse than the rough night that Paul has in Soho.

Watch at own risk! Conjure up an urban world where apparently friendly young ladies all turn out to be somewhere between odd and crazy.

Then imagine you're up here to see one such girl and your last bill has flown out of the cab window on the way. Then pretend your date has committed suicide, you've somehow got branded as a serial robber, and another girl is after you with her ice cream van. You could well be Paul Hackett stranded in New York's SoHo in the early hours miles away from your uptown word processing job. You've got some change but since the subway fares went up at midnight, not enough to get back.

Who do you call? Definitely not the police. After Hours is an absolute delight. The theme concerns one night in New York City, and although what transpires could happen in any major metropolitan area, the trappings are distinctly New York. It's funny how Scorsese is able to satirize the city while still celebrating its cosmopolitan atmosphere. The genius is the method in which the action slowly unfolds getting progressively more ridiculous as time goes on. We sense something is amiss right from the very start.

Notice how Marcy's roommate Kiki answers the phone when he rings her up. Kiki's disembodied voice dripping with annoyance. That's merely the beginning. His odyssey becomes nightmarish in its development. The brilliance is that he takes the saga to places we don't anticipate. Creatively building layer upon layer of insanity to form a perfectly realized vision of hell on earth. It's hilarious, weird and uncomfortable at once. Throughout it all, Dunne grounds the picture in an air of normalcy that radiates safety for the viewer.

And just when you fear that this cruel paean to the Big Apple cannot end in any meaningful way, it does. The story comes full circle intelligently referencing events we've seen before. It's an intricately constructed tale that simply gets better with age. One night after work he has a chance encounter with a woman whom he makes a bit of a connection with. A little while later he decides to meet up with her in SoHo. As soon as he starts making his way to the neighborhood though, what should have been a straightforward and simple "date" of sorts turns into a bizarre madcap misadventure where Paul's attempts to get back home get weirder and worse as the night goes on.

Plotwise, that's pretty much it: The movie is a delightfully odd and darkly funny trip through the nuttier side of urban life in the wee hours of the morning. It's less of a character study, than a study in weirdness propelled by some increasingly ecclectic and odd characters, played by an impressive lineup of performers including Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom, Cheech and Chong, Linda Fiorentino, Teri Garr, John Heard, and Catherine O'Hara among others.

This is an atypical film for Scorsese, and it seems weird at first having him direct something like this. It's not really his thing, and seems more like the perfect fit for the Coen Brothers.

Yet, while watching it, the viewer realizes that, atypical or not, Scorsese is the right fit for such a project because he knows New York, he knows New York at night, and he's great at having movies that have a nightmarish tone filled lots of paranoia and craziness.

What makes it stick out is the overall tone, the dark comedy element. This is probably the closest Scorsese will come to making a comedy, even if it isn't a "pure" one per se. I've mentioned some of the actors who play the side characters, but let's diiscuss their performances.

Dunne excels as playing the increasingly harried and Kafkaesque protagonist Paul, while all the others do a godo job and have lots of fun playing all sorts of odd balls whose actions aren't always explained. That's another element that really makes this film sing is that it leaves some things unexplained or untouched, and it works better as a result, and adds to the proceedings instead of being too vague for the sake of too vague. Howard Shore's music is both fun and perfectly fitting of the atmosphere, Michael Ballhaus has done some excellent work as cinematographer for a numebr of Scorsese films, and he adds another one to that list with his work here.

The lighting, camera moves, and various neat angles are well executrd and only add to the film instead of being just for show. Thelma Schoonmaker does a great as usual job with the editing, and Scorsese does a terrific job with his directing, proving that, even with a slightly lighter tone than the rest of his work, he can still pull off something spectacular. Give this one a shot. More Top Movies Trailers Forums. Apocalypse Better Call Saul: Season 4 Castle Rock: Season 1 The Deuce: Season 2 Doctor Who: Season 11 Fear the Walking Dead: Season 3 This Is Us: Season 3 The Walking Dead: View All Photos 1.

A Manhattan Yuppie's night out becomes a comic nightmare, courtesy of director Martin Scorsese. Griffin Dunne as Paul Hackett. Rosanna Arquette as Marcy Franklin.

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