Most gamblers go to the casino hoping to get lucky and win, but figure they're probably going to lose. They know the house isn't in business to give away money. So many customers develop a "good guy/bad guy" attitude toward the casino. As the good guys, these customers feel that any break they can get, they have coming - even if that break goes outside the rules of the game.
In most cases, I don't agree with that. You come to the casino knowing that the basic percentages are tilted in favor of the house. You know the rules of the game when you sit down and are bound by your honor to play by them. Yet, every once in a while, you'll get an opportunity to gain something by either bending or violating those rules. Here are some examples.
• You're sitting at the blackjack table and are dealt an Ace/3 against the dealer's deuce up. After taking several hits, you finally stop with A/3/2/A/5/4, giving you 16. Everybody else has a two-card 18 or better. The dealer turns up a 10 in the hole, then pulls a 5 to make 17. She takes a quick look around the table and proceeds to pay everybody - including you. You lost the hand, but got paid! Would you keep the mistaken payoff, or call the dealer's attention to her error - and why?
• This time you're at the craps table and have had a bet riding on the hardway 8 forever. Finally, the shooter rolls a 6/2, a loser - but the dealer forgets to pick up your bet. You're now getting a free second chance at a 9-to-1 payoff when your bet has already lost. Do you accept the mistaken freeroll, or advise the dealer to pick up your bet - and why?
• Now you're standing at the roulette wheel with a handful of red chips and notice a black $100 chip on the floor in between you the guy next to you. He's also got a few black chips among the other colors in his hand. You know the chip isn't yours. What do you do - and why?
• You're seated at the 3-card poker table and a new player hands the dealer a cash buy-in. The dealer spreads the bills out on the table in two rows. The first row is $50-$50-$50-$50 and the second row is $50-$50-$20-$50. The dealer announces to the floor, "Changing 400." You're apparently the only one who noticed (except perhaps the new player) that the buy-in consists of only $370! Do you point it out to the dealer, or mind your own business - and why?
• You're playing some Texas Hold'em in the poker room and are out of this particular hand. The final board is:
At the showdown, the two remaining players turn over their hands. Player "A" flips up pocket 6s and player "B" shows A/8. The dealer announces, "Pair of 8s with an Ace kicker" as the winner and pushes the chips his way. The pocket 6s never realized that he made a "gut-shot" (inside) straight at the river. Do you stop the dealer and point out the straight, or just let it slide - and why?
• Finally, you're cashing out your chips at the cage at the end of your visit. You've got one black chip, seven greens, nine reds and two whites totaling $322. The cashier, busily talking with the person next to her pays you $422. What do you do - and why?
Drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know how you feel about these situations. I'll publish some totals without names in a few weeks.
• For a signed copy of Fred's blackjack manual, send $16 to "Blackjack Bluebook II", PO Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL 60009.