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When people sat down at Sarah Seldon’s blackjack game, they always wanted to talk about The Book. “Should I double down? Should I hit? Dealer, I know you’re a gambler; you could let me win if you wanted to. What does the book say?” She had never read this book, this mythical Bible for gamblers. The truth is there are 2256 books, each teaching its own foolproof winning system. But Sarah had been in the casino business long enough to think with a gambler’s mind. Gamblers knew they could follow all the rules of basic strategy, utilize money management and still lose if they weren’t dealt the right cards. The allure and curse of gambling was that there were no sure things. In the end it all came down to luck; gamblers prayed that Lady Luck would show up and that she would stick around for awhile.

Friday, May 27, 2011


This weeks blog was written by my co-author and husband Ray. He is the least superstitious person on the planet. And don't tell him the dealer is hot unless you want to listen to a thirty minute lecture on odds! So if you are visiting a casino in the near future read this and you may remain a little calmer.

Here are a few thoughts on Blackjack.
When dealing Blackjack how often do you hear the following 'You took the dealers bust card!' This situation sometimes gets very heated. Here is an example. Dealer is showing a 5 and one of the players hits on a hard 15. He receives a 10 and busts. Then the dealer goes on to make a hand when in fact he would have bust had the player played correctly and not taken that ten. Seems logical enough at first. But of course that is only that one particular hand out of thousands. People forget all the other times when another player makes a wrong move and it turns out to actually cause the dealer to bust. In fact you cannot take 'the dealers bust card' unless you know the value of the next card out the shoe. And of course even then it would still by no means be a certainty that the dealer would bust..
                                                Imagine the following situation. -
A full table, second last spot has a 10 and a 5. Last spot also has a 10 and a 5. So they both have 15. The dealer is showing a 5. Now, if either of those players draws to their 15s the rest of the players will get annoyed. But imagine, had the same cards been dealt but just in a slightly different order, giving the player on the second last spot  the two 10s and the player on the last spot receiving both of the 5s, now of course everyone wants him to hit his two 5s! In fact they will get annoyed if he doesn't! But in reality nothing has really changed, just the order of two cards. The next card out of the shoe is still the same card as before regardless of whether the player takes it or the dealer takes it. Of course I realize it is bad play to hit on a hard 15 against the dealers 5, but that bad play rule only applies to the player actually making that particular hit. Nobody else is affected one way or the other by anything any other player does. Since the cards are random, the second card out of the shoe is just as likely to be the dealers 'bust' card as the first card out of the shoe. All of this assumes no card counting techniques, just straight play.

About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Please check out her most popular posts at CaraBetoia.blogspot.com  to find more blogs about cruising, casinos and anything that catches her fancy.

Below are the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships

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