The town of Deadwood, South Dakota was born in the heady days of the Black Hills Gold Rush. The discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874 and in Deadwood Gulch in late 1875 led thousands of settlers to the area, erecting a town almost overnight in 1876. Many of the most famous (and infamous) characters of the Old West passed through the town at one time or another. Outlaws like Jack McCall and lawmen like Seth Bullock spent considerable time in Deadwood, and the city remains an integral component of the mythology of the Old West.
Deadwood has a special place in the American consciousness, these images established by countless cowboy and outlaw dime store novels, films, video games, and television shows that celebrate the rich history of the town. However, times have changed and these days, Deadwood has been transformed from a rough and tumble mining town, to a world-class destination for casino gaming, outdoor excursions, historical tours, historic preservation and more.
I believe that knowledge is a valuable asset if you want to excel at most things. That includes all sports, bridge, chess, science, math and a long list of myriad topics, including gambling. The gaming industry, however, is unlike most others in that certain topics are off limits and will never see the light of day. For example, the highest level of device technologists is called a bench tech (most manufacturers have around ten levels) and you will never ever see one on any casino floor or even on site. I spoke to a bench tech once due to unusual circumstances and he told me that they take their secrets to the grave. So, when a level one or two technician tells you which machine to play or how they work you should take it with a grain of salt. But there are many branches of gambling facts that are not just accurate but potentially profitable. The tough part is shining a light on legitimate facts so you can differentiate between the sunshine and the fairy tales.
Recently I was yakking with a friend about a lost $100K jackpot at a Florida casino when I realized it could have happened to any of us. That’s when it dawned on me that either the casino or the court often makes seemingly illogical and unfair decisions regarding who gets the jackpot cash. While researching this topic, I discovered a few interesting cases of interest I look forward to highlighting in this two part series for Gaming and Destinations.
As a game that allows players to exercise their skill along with having a strong element of chance, blackjack has more subtleties than most casino games. It also leaves plenty of room for question and comment. Let’s try to answer a few questions and relay a few comments submitted by readers.
Q. In casino statistics online from various gambling states, I see casino hold percentages and win percentages in blackjack listed at 16, 17 and 18 percent. How can that be? I know there are some bad players, but no one should be giving the house 16 percent.
A. Those hold percentages are not the same thing as the house edge. When gaming board statistics list a hold percentage of 16 percent, it doesn’t mean blackjack players have lost 16 percent of wagers. It means they’ve lost 16 percent of buy-ins.
When it comes to gamblers, you will notice a lot of different eclectic personalities and behaviors. You will see everything from superstitious rituals to over zealous excitement with visions of guaranteed jackpots.
Whatever category you find yourself in, or your favorite gambling buddies, we feel that most fall in to one of three categories. Check them out and see which you align with the most.
Known to many as either; bac-ca-rat or bah-ca-rah, the pronunciation has little effect on mastering this card game. This no-strategy, luck-only game is most commonly housed in casino’s “high-limit” areas, due to its minimum betting of usually $20 a hand. To entice more modest wagering clientele, casinos down scaled the baccarat game and created the mini-baccarat. This altered game has a cheaper minimum betting ($5 per hand) and maintains the same game that everyone loves; only cheaper. It’s a simple game to learn and carries a low house edge…Read more.
Casino games are full of judgment calls with what plays you should make. Should a blackjack player hit hard 16? Yes, if the dealer’s face up card is 7 or higher, but not if it’s 6 or lower. Should a Three Card Poker player match the ante with a play bet? Yes, if the hand is Queen-6-4 or better, but not with lesser cards. But there are absolutes, too. And many of those absolutes are absolutely not’s.
Here are a few things you should NEVER do in a casino….
Interests of casinos and players don’ always precisely align when it comes to comps. Naturally enough, as players we’ll take whatever we can get. Cash back, free play, room and meal comps, shows, golf’s bring it on!
Football season is here…it’s time to start firing up the grill and icing down the cooler. Get game time tips with the official Commissioner of Tailgating, Joe Cahn.
Southern Gaming caught up with him to chat about everything from ziplock bags to mustard for brats.