Category Archives: Misc

The Best Blackjack Appearances in Film

By Hanna Laakso.

Casinos are some of the most unique places on earth. To put it briefly, they are always on a knife-edge. What we mean by this is that no matter the moment you are there, there is always the feeling that something could happen. An eruption of cheers from the roulette table, a tense stare down at the poker table, the sudden soundtrack signalling a big win at the slots, or a moment of magic that only the game of Blackjack can produce. 

Blackjack is a unique game for a number of reasons. It is a game that invites any and all to give it a go. The rules, while being straightforward, still offer the opportunity to learn when to stick and when to attack. If there is any casino game that best defines the knife-edge atmosphere, look no further than Blackjack.

Hand on Deck of Cards

This, coupled with the swirl of happenings that you will encounter on the casino floor, has resulted in the game of Blackjack playing a crucial role in numerous films throughout history. It can used to add a certain twist, to represent a moment of decision making for one of the characters, or to act as a metaphor for what ever adventure may lay ahead for the protagonist. Let’s just stay, just as when you play yourself, it offers a lot of opportunities for film-makers.

It is for this reason that we decided to put this article together, to highlight three of the best Blackjack moments in film history. It is, and always will be, one of the most popular card games. While being one of the oldest, its simplicity continues to captivate generation after generation. So much so that blackjack games at Wildz online casino prove to be one the most popular options even in the age of technology. So, without further ado, let’s delve into why blackjack and narrative were always born to cross paths…

Rainman

Rain Man is a 1988 American road comedy-drama film directed by Barry Levinson and starring the incredible Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In this heartwarming tale, the pair combine to put Raymond’s (Hoffman), an autistic savant, mathematical powers to the test.

After Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) discovers that his estranged father has died and left virtually all of his multi-million-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond, the pair go the road trip of all road trips.

Charlie, in financial debt, soon discovers Raymond’s skills and they devise a plan to win the money he owes at the blackjack table. What follows is the process of two brothers forming a friendship, as well as the demonstration of what the Blackjack table can offer. Two words, must see.

Swingers

In our opinion, Swingers is one of the most underrated films in the history of cinema. It tells the tale of the lives of single, unemployed actors living on the east side of Hollywood, California, during the 1990s swing revival. Down on their luck, they plan a trip to Las Vegas in the hope of finding some meaning amongst the chaos.

When it comes to Blackjack, Swingers is home to one of the burning questions that enters the mind, on at least one occasion, of every Blackjack player. The scene involves a disagreement over whether or not you really should double down on eleven or not. It is a moment that truly demonstrates the genius of Vince Vaughan and Jon Favreau. The conclusion, “you always double down on eleven, baby”. Oh, and by the way, we couldn’t agree more.1)Most movies do not depict blackjack card counting correctly or realistically.  Even the movie 21 is embellished to a great degree. Actually, you don’t always double on eleven.  Blackjack basic strategy tells us that in single and double deck, yes, but if you are playing against a shoe game, you don’t double on 11 against a dealer Ace!

License to Kill

You may have been starting to worry, but do so no longer, of course we have a James Bond moment. For so long, James Bond and the world of casinos have been popping in and out of our lives. It is no surprise based on the fact that both Bond the character, and the casino as a location, both live life on the exhilaration of the road less traveled.

While there was more than one option, we opted to include a scene from License to Kill in our list. The reason being is the stakes. He arrives in town with five million dollars and plans to make an impact from the start. Let’s just say that things get tense, and fast.

The Bottom Line

Blackjack and film are simply a match made in heaven. It can quickly introduce a nail biting moment of hold your breath tension. It can be used to signal a change in luck for a character, a cross roads or just about anything in the right context.

There is a reason why Blackjack remains one of the most popular casino games of all time, and film is a great way to demonstrate why.

IMAGE CREDIT: Pikist.com

BLOG MENU

Footnotes

Footnotes
1Most movies do not depict blackjack card counting correctly or realistically.  Even the movie 21 is embellished to a great degree. Actually, you don’t always double on eleven.  Blackjack basic strategy tells us that in single and double deck, yes, but if you are playing against a shoe game, you don’t double on 11 against a dealer Ace!

The Psychology of Blackjack: Can Students Develop Strategic Thinking When Playing Blackjack?

Blackjack on the brainBy Colleen Ross.

Strategic thinking is a valuable skill that allows people to evaluate particular events using solid facts. Those who excel in strategic consideration always pay attention to specific evidence and personal observations for judgment. It is a vital skill for students because it helps them assess the information they receive and form their standpoints. 

It’s a well-known fact that students who succeed in table games excel in strategic thinking. They can quickly tackle complicated math tasks and craft interesting academic papers. Blackjack is a popular card game that many people play. It can help students evolve their skills in different areas like any other game. Let’s dive deeper and discover if this card game helps undergraduates develop strategic consideration.

Ability To Be Suspicious

The approach of not believing everything that you’re told is one of the most effective ones. It helps win in card games too. To win, players need to rely on themselves only. They need to trust nobody because all counterparts may cheat to overcome their rivals. 

When playing blackjack, students learn to trust no one. It’s a very valuable skill that helps build strategic thinking. When undergraduates are suspicious of any facts, they discover they can compose papers of outstanding quality. The ability not to trust any information stimulates them to double-check all the findings they gather when researching. It helps them sort out facts from fake or untrusted / unreliable sources. 

Discovering Opposite Ideas

Skilled players have vast experience in analyzing people’s behavior. They observe behavior patterns and signs that help understand the ideas and intentions of their opponents. The ability to discover opposite ideas is one of the top skills students can develop when playing blackjack. Meanwhile, it can help build strategic consideration. 

For instance, when learners can analyze people’s behavior and predict their potential actions. It can help undergraduates to understand how to communicate with particular people. If they know that a tutor won’t accept an extension request, they may decide to pay for essays. It is a smart step when they can hardly deliver all the assignments on time. When reaching professional writers, undergraduates manage to delegate their burdening tasks and get their homework completed by skilled writers on time. They receive ready-to-submit papers even if they have a tight schedule. 

Detailed Plans Building

Detailed planning is a key characteristic of strategic thinking. Knowing how to build plans to win when playing blackjack is required. To win, players need to set goals and understand how to achieve them. Also, detailed planning skills need players to understand the possible consequences of every move. Therefore, students who like playing blackjack can develop strategic consideration that can be advantageous. When learners can build thorough plans and follow them, they can achieve outstanding academic results.

If you’re a student who can hardly create detailed plans and update them upon demand, you might have problems composing academic tasks on time. Those students frequently order essay online to get their homework completed by professional writers. The best assignments writing platform helps learners complete their academic papers quickly and without any stress.

Fast Thinking

Every move of a hand changes the situation on a game board. Players have only several seconds to analyze changes in situations and come up with new decisions. They need to adjust their plans constantly to come up with the best ideas to win. Analyzing situations that are frequently affected by many factors is a very useful skill that helps learners update their plans fast. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to build a roadmap that will imply any possible changes. Therefore, those who can think fast and develop new plans, having only several seconds have better strategic thinking skills. Blackjack is one of the most popular games that can help develop it. 

Sometimes, details and small changes play a vital role in every plan. People also need to be attentive to details to succeed when playing blackjack. Players need to pay attention to all odds and consider them. The adherence to small details is one of the top skills that help develop strategic reasoning. For instance, card counting is one of the actions that can help boost strategic thinking. 

Meticulous Learning and Memorizing

Indeed, it’s impossible to become a great blackjack player without knowing all the rules. It’s vital to know all the detailed rules to be ahead of the game. Therefore, blackjack lovers frequently spend many hours reading rules and learning them hard. They help understand how other players may act and the possible outcomes of every step. 

Learning is key to strategic thinking development because it helps understand the possible strategies of other players. Therefore, it’s vital to become a meticulous learner to succeed in blackjack. It would be best if you were ready to spend many hours learning all of them. Also, it’s vital to review your knowledge regularly. 

To play blackjack successfully, you also have to study, analyze and memorize different strategies and methods.   But, unlike games like poker, other player’s actions usually don’t have an effect on your play. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Colleen Ross is an experienced traveler who is addicted to traveling, bird watching, and aircraft model constructing.

BLOG MENU

Other Casino Games That Blackjack Players Would Love

Dragon Dance SlotsBy Steve Conway.

Blackjack is one of the most popular online games of all time. Every day, millions of people fire up their web browsers and search for blackjack games to play, whether they’re riding the subway to work or are simply relaxing at home with a drink. Plus, blackjack has also become popular across the iOS and Google Play app stores, where you can now download tons of different blackjack games and compete against other players.

However, as any blackjack player will admit, the game can become a little repetitive after a while. This is natural, as it’s very limited in terms of gameplay and rules.

As a result, many blackjack players are turning to other online casino games – and this article is going to tell you all about a few of them.

So, if you want to discover some exciting online casino games, make sure to read the suggestions below.

Slots

Let’s start with a fun one: slots!

Slots have been a crowd favorite across the US for decades. From land-based casinos to bar corners, slot machines have been easy to access in social places.

Now, thankfully, you can play online slots Canada online at places like Spin Palace. This is great for players who want to experience short, action-packed games whenever they’re feeling bored.

For example, if you’re taking a break at work, you could grab your smartphone and play a couple of games of slots to re-energize yourself.

Poker

Blackjack is so popular because it’s a very simple card game – pretty much anyone can learn the rules to it.

Poker, on the other hand, isn’t.

Poker is a tough game to learn due to the complexity of the hands and the number of other players that can be involved. However, it’s one of the most rewarding casino games that you can ever play when you get the hang of it.

As a starting point, make sure to memorize the different poker hands. Also, try subscribing to poker channels on YouTube that provide players with different in-game advice and tactics to try.

Roulette

Roulette is an all-time casino classic.

The concept is simple: you bet on either red or black. Or alternatively, you can play a riskier style and bet on individual numbers that you think the ball will land on.

Roulette is one of the most searched for games online, so make sure to give it a try if you want a different kind of experience.

Scratch Cards

Have you ever been to your local convenience store and purchased a scratch card? If yes, did you know that you can now play scratch cards online? It’s a lot of fun.

For example, if you’re a fan of Monopoly, you can now play Monopoly-themed scratch cards by searching for them on Google. Remember to play with a budget, though, as it can be tempting to buy lots of different scratch cards due to how fun it is.

Monopoly Scratch Off

Conclusion

In conclusion, make sure to try the above-mentioned casino games if you’re a blackjack player that wants a different kind of experience. All of these games are easy to access online – plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find some nice bonuses.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Steve Conway is a passionate traveler who explores the globe in pursuit of adventure, sun-soaked beaches, and azure waters.

BLOG MENU

 

Single Play Promo and Free Play Chips

Bill Zender Newsletter – December 20, 2018

( Reprinted with permission )

Dear Friends and Business Associates,

I just want to take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy and Joyous New Year.  I’m sorry that I have been unable to conduct my usual consulting work, travel to different casino and provide them advice and answers to  table game problems, teach seminars on game protection and table game mathematics, and looking into and learning all the new techniques the “dark side” of casino gaming has been throwing at us in 2018.  As you all know, I have spent the last nine months (has it been that long?) helping to operate a Cardroom Casino in Northern California. Unfortunately, it has taken up a great amount of my time, and because of the situation, it appears that I will be in this same position at least until the summer/fall of 2019.  For now, take care and I wish you all a fun and very happy holiday season, and a pleasant and prosperous 2019.

Answers to Important Emails

EmailI like to publish questions I receive from various people who contact me and my answers that I believe would be, not only interesting, but enlightening to other people who subscribe to my eBlast list.  One major problem our industry has always had is the sharing of information regarding gaming mathematics and issues related to possible cheating and advantage play. I believe in maintaining a forum that is as open as possible where others in the industry can learn from various industry executives and managers regarding their questions and experiences.

Following are three emails I received over the past months.  When replying to the questions, there are some instances where I also mention attached backup articles, spreadsheets or charts.  If you happen to find the reply to a certain email appealing, and are interested in obtaining the additional material mentioned, feel free to contact me and ask for the specific article, spreadsheet, or chart.

In addition, I do honor your individual privacy.  I will omit the location and name of the individual asking the question, and will not use a question/reply if the person who asks the question wishes to keep it between the two of us.  Please send any table game related questions to wzender@aol.com.

Question:
I am wondering if some casino’s place comp restrictions on Video Poker players (Jacks or Better or Double–Double bonus machines)?

Note: Not really a table games question, but I do comment on comp restrictions in ETGs;

My Reply:
The short answer is yes they do.  A lot of video poker games operate off a low H/A%, usually less than 3%.  In most cases, each slot “point” represents a theoretical give back of 0.25%.  If you offer 5X points as a promotion, the give back is 1.25%.  If the video poker game is a 1% game or less (played perfect basic strategy), then you have eliminated your edge.  Of course this would require the player receiving 100% of their reinvestment return (cash, food, rooms, etc.), but you get the picture.  It’s not unusual to see casinos offer 8X or greater promotion days or periods. 
Another area to consider is electronic devices/games that involve a participation with the machine manufacturer.  You need to consider your “profit sharing” agreement before including that device in your standard point promotion.  Example; one major gaming corporation does not give players slot points for play on their ETG roulette machines.  The reason for this is that they have a high participation sharing percentage, and even though the roulette machine is subject to a 5.26% H/A% on all bets, if they apply their standard points reinvestment, they are upside down revenue potential.  Be sure to evaluate (or reevaluate) all participation devices and games.

Question:
I am the table games manager for a casino in Oklahoma. I have a couple of questions about one play only promo chips. The first question is how will having promo chips affect a tables hold %; let’s say the table usually holds X% but we then add promo chips, what is the expected change in hold % and how did you come up with this figure? The second question is how would you create a report showing how the promo chips are doing? If you can give me some directions on these questions it would help me out a lot, please remember that the promo chips are one play only no matter if the player wins or losses.
 
My Reply:
Great question. Single play Promo chips result in a loss to the chip tray of the table where they are played.  If you reduce the amount of chips in the tray, you lower your hold percentage.
 
The purpose for single play chip promotions is to bring players to the table to gamble.  The down side to this promotion will occur if the customers don’t stay at the table long enough for you to win back the cost of the chips.  The cost of the single play promo chip is approximately 48% of face value (based on a standard BJ game).  If you give a player a $10.00 single play (also known as “free play”) promo chip, it cost the casino (and the table tray) $4.80.  If the customer continues to play and bets $10 (on BJ), he will have to place an additional 37 wagers (at $10) before you will break even. In many cases, the marketing department has no idea of this cost and give the promo chips away like they are candy.
 
Note: In review of this person’s question, I noticed I forgot to answer his question 2 regarding how to create a report that shows the effect, positive or negative, regarding the single play promo chips usage. The answer; you need to compare the cost of the promo chips given away, in this case about 48% of face value, with the incremental revenue gain from the promotion.  You also need to add in any additional cost such as extra dealers to open more games, and personal to handle the promotion.  In many cases, the promotion is not structured correctly and/or closely monitored by management, and the cost exceed the increase in revenue generated by the promotion.  God bless the marketing department; however, a number of marketing personnel do not understand that the cost of this promotion is felt by the table games. When marketing creates a promotion Proforma (I hope they create a Proforma!), they usually don’t include the true cost of the promo chips.
 
Question:
I’ve recently heard that you advise operators to keep side bets on blackjack tables at $100 max or less.  I’m reaching out to question your reasoning behind that.  More specifically, in relation to the side bet offered at my property. We offer 21+3 side bets that pay 9 to 1.
 
Reply: 
There are a couple reasons for setting lower side bets limits:
 

  1. On multiple paying wagers, in this instance 9:1, you are open to large swings when players wager large amounts, and in most cases upper management does not understand when someone crushes a BJ game on a non-high limit table.  Keeping the limits low allows you to maintain the “grind” play.
     
  2. Side bets are sometimes exploitable when players are allowed to wager larger amounts.  For instance, the “Match the Dealer” side bet can be counted using a special count system, but no one attacks it when it is limited to a $25 maximum side bet.  The estimated hourly “card counting” return for an average paced game is under $3 per hour.  If someone were to raise the limit to $250, the side bet becomes much more attractive (just under $30 per hour).  I tell people, be careful when raising the side bet limits you don’t open up Pandora’s box.
 
On the opposite side of this equation, raising the side bet limit will increase your revenue potential from that side bet.  The only problem is that an overwhelming majority of side bet players wager in $5 to $10 maximum, and the side bets don’t really attract higher range players who usually are not interested in anything but wagering on the main game. Idea; maybe consider giving certain higher limit players a special limit on the side bets (if your regulations allow it).
 
If you want to raise the side bet limit, be sure you understand how the side bet can be beaten through advantage play beforehand (check www.apheat.net), and be sure upper management understands any possible win/loss volatility; explain the trade-off of short-term volatility for long-term revenue potential.  
 
Scheduled Seminars and Workshop

World Game Protection Conference March 2019 – Las Vegas

World Game Protection ConferenceDon’t forget the World Game Protection Conference, March 3-6, 2019 at the Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas.  I plan to conduct two 50 minute sessions; one on Electric Table Games, similar to last year, but with updated material, and a second 50 minute session which will be a “drill down” into Roulette and Craps.  It appears there are a couple of gambling jurisdictions that are including both roulette and craps to their State’s available table games for the first time.  This session will be interesting for both the “newbie” and the “long-term” veterans.  For more information, please go to: https://www.worldgameprotection.com/register/.
 
On the Move
I don’t have any additional jobs other than the one in northern California.  I will keep everyone informed when that changes.  Following is my obligations for the 2019 (so far):
 
February – 
World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas Nevada 

Questions???
 
As mentioned previously in this eBlast, I’m always available to answer your questions. If you have any questions on gaming; don’t hesitate to contact me through email.  I answer close to a half dozen emails on gaming every day wzender@aol.com
 
 
Cheers and good luck.
 
Bill Zender
Bill Zender and Associates
702-423-5734