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Believing Myths About Table Games Can Cost You Big

By Frank Scoblete


There are more myths and misconceptions about casino table games than you can throw a “craps-out” about them; especially as there is no such thing as a craps-out. So here are some untruths with their truths quickly behind them.


Untruth: The best advice anyone can give is to quit while you are ahead.

Truth: This is purely wishful thinking. In fact, at times it is absurdly wishful thinking. You’ve bought your expensive plane ticket and booked a room in a fabulous Las Vegas hotel. You go down and buy in for a blackjack game and as luck would have it, you win your rst hand. You are now ahead after the very first moment of gambling. Do you leave?

Or, you lose that first hand and you are behind and although you win some hands and lose some hands, you never get ahead of the game – do you keep playing until you lose every penny you have? Or do you finally give up and say, “That’s it for me.”

Untruth: Blackjack players should always assume that the dealer has a 10-valued card in the hole. So if you see a seven as the up-card, the dealer probably has 17.

Truth: Ten-valued cards at blackjack (10, jack, queen and king) make up slightly more than 30 percent of a deck. That means it is more than likely that the hole card of the dealer is not a 10-valued card but one of the other cards, the non-10-valued cards. The proper way to play blackjack is not to guess at the hole card since you have no idea what that card could be but instead use the computer derived “basic strategy” in playing your hands.

Untruth: The best slot machines to play are the progressives such as Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune. These give you the best chance of winning on any given night since they are programmed to give out really large jackpots.

Truth: While the idea of winning a fortune on a slot machine is the fancy of many slot players – and Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune certainly play into that fantasy – the big progressives are actually the toughest machines to win on since they must withhold money for those large jackpots. Your chances of coming home with a win are therefore somewhat less than coming home with a loss.

Untruth: The best way to play is to follow the table trend which means to watch for streaks. If you see certain numbers come up at roulette or craps or if one or the other proposition (bank or player) at baccarat wins several times in a row, then bet those numbers or propositions. Those are hot and you have to jump on them!

Truth: There are always streaks in random games, every casino player knows this, but the problem is simple – you never know if that streak will continue. If you have a one in five chance of a number appearing, even if it has hit several times in a row, it does not mean the probability of its hitting on the next decision is now less than one in five because it has just been streaking. It is always one in five. Betting it on the next decision is the exact same as betting it on the very first decision or the second decision or third decision.

Untruth: Progressive betting is the only way to go when you play table games. If you win a hand use the winnings on top of your next bet. You can do this three times and the amount you can win is amazing if you hit a hot streak.

Truth: Progressive betting can indeed win you more money than merely at betting but it does not reduce the house edge one bit. You will have far more losing sessions than winning sessions betting this way. In short, you are throwing more money into the house edge. Progressive betting as you explain it is also called “parley betting.” It’s been a losing system since it was first invented, although it is a favorite form of betting for many casino players.

Untruth: The best way to assure that you will never lose is to double your bet after a loss. Sooner or later you have to win the bet, recoup all your losses and be ahead on that first bet. No casino can beat that system.

Truth: The system described above is called the Martingale and there are various Martingale types and ways to utilize them but all Martingales eventually fail. If a person had unlimited money and the casinos did not have maximum bets at their tables then, yes, it would be an unbeatable betting system. But the casinos will not allow you to double your bet more than a certain amount so that eventually you will lose a sequence of wagering. It usually takes between seven and nine increases in a player’s betting to hit the house limit – and the losses from hitting that limit can be devastating. New players often use this system and think they have invented it.

Untruth: The best advice to get is usually from other casino gamblers who really know their stuff. If a person has been playing table games for years he or she must be an expert.

Truth: Usually no.


[Read Frank Scoblete’s books I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack, I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps and Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! All available from, on Kindle and electronic media, at Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores. Visit Frank’s website at]


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