# Rated table betting - blackjack vs craps - Las Vegas Forum

Even worse than 6: Use caution and follow personal limits. A lot of people who seem to be "lucky" always stand at the same position on the table, always set the dice the same way, always pick them up with the same grip, and always throw them the same way. Las Vegas single deck rules are dealer hits on soft 17, player may double on any two cards, player may not double after splitting, one card to split aces, no surrender. Here is an example in case my question is not clear: Why does the casino usually win in blackjack?

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This is how card counters make money. They use a heuristic system to estimate how favorable the deck is to the player. Some might have trouble getting their head around this idea, but it becomes simpler if you think of it this way.

All other bets pay out at even money, so getting a natural blackjack is where a blackjack player makes his money. But what are your odds of being dealt a blackjack if all four of the aces in the deck have already been dealt? They become 0, right? If the deck has 0 aces in it, and you need an ace and a face or ten to get the 3 to 2 payout, then the house edge increases considerably. The same holds true for the tens, but there are more of them in a deck.

And the reverse of this is true. As the lower cards are dealt, the ratio of tens and aces becomes more favorable. So the card counter raises his bet sizes to take advantage of the higher chance of getting a bigger payout. The house edge is the percentage of each wager that the casino expects to win over the long run. In roulette, the house edge is fixed, regardless of what decisions you make.

On an American wheel, you face a house edge of 5. On a European wheel, you face a house edge of 2. No decisions that you make can change this number. On the other hand, there are multiple decision points in a blackjack hand. Most players are smarter than that, though. Basic strategy provides the mathematically best play in every situation that might come up.

The difference between using basic strategy and just playing your hunches is significant. Game conditions vary, but generally speaking, if you use correct basic strategy, you can reduce the house edge to between 0. If you like making decisions that affect your outcome, and you want to play a game where you can get edge by an advantage maneuver like counting cards, skip the roulette table.

This assumes that all bets made are of equal size. The probability that the session outcome will be within one standard deviation is The probability that the session outcome will be within two standard deviations is The probability that the session outcome will be within three standard deviations is The following table shows the probability that a session outcome will come within various numbers of standard deviations. I realize that this explanation may not make much sense to someone who is not well versed in the basics of statistics.

If this is the case I would recommend enriching yourself with a good introductory statistics book. Although I do not mention hold percentages on my site the term is worth defining because it comes up a lot. The hold percentage is the ratio of chips the casino keeps to the total chips sold. This is generally measured over an entire shift.

A mathematician alone can not determine the hold because it depends on how long the player will sit at the table and the same money circulates back and forth. There is a lot of confusion between the house edge and hold, especially among casino personnel.

The following table shows the average hands per hour and the house edge for comp purposes various games. The house edge figures are higher than those above, because the above figures assume optimal strategy, and those below reflect player errors and average type of bet made. This table was given to me anonymously by an executive with a major Strip casino and is used for rating players.