Gun shy on ace-splits? Yeah, a little more in Sbobet 


I realize that your advice in the past has been to always split aces. This strategy hasn’t always been successful for me. Would you recommend on occasion not splitting aces, especially against a 10, when the cards are running against me? Jack M.

In blackjack, Jack, taking a hit or standing is the most elementary decision a player makes. Yeah, simple stuff, but his choices do not end there. Canny use of other betting options like splitting pairs, doubling down, and surrendering (if that option is available) is what separates the winners from the washouts.


Splitting pairs allows you to buck-up more money in advantageous situations. It also permits you to take a lousy hand, like a pair of 8s, and turn it into something a little sunnier than a miscreant 16. Splitting pairs that are aces, is a godsend to the player using basic strategy.


So, is it worth splitting aces, even against a 10? Yes, Jack, unconditionally and every time. How so you ask? Because, if the dealer does not have a blackjack (AND … you lose NO additional funds if he does), you will automatically have an edge against the house. Here’s the arithmetic. If you were just to hit your ace-ace against a 10, mathematically you would lose, on average, $6 for every $100 wagered. But, if instead you always split those Sbobet aces, youšll have an average gain of $18 for each $100 bet. Nice swing, huh? Granted, you’ll receive your fair share of deuces to go along with those aces, and a dealer-from-hell will seemingly suck an inordinate supply of 18’s out of the luck jug, but, Jack, you’ll win more in the long haul if you always split aces against a 10.


Dear Mark,

Have you ever heard of a betting strategy in baccarat where you bet on the next to last winning hand? Is it any more successful than betting the last winning hand? Joseph P.


The system you are describing is called “Avant dernier,” which in French, means “before last.” You simply bet on the side that won the “next to last hand.” Does this system merit its employment? No, believes this writer; yes, believe the foolhardy.


The other system you specified, following the shoe, is where you wager on the side that won the previous hand, “Le dernier.” Here, if the player’s side wins, you continue to make player wagers until you lose. Playing this way does allow you to take advantage of sporadic hot streaks.


Though that seemingly rational scheme is practiced by many baccarat players, I’m from the school that knows that each hand dealt is an independent event, totally separate from what happened on the last hand or the next one. Consequently, in my humble opinion, neither ploy – the before-and-after twins — has any strategic logic or gaming value.


Dear Mark,

Because the 7 appears in craps more often than any other dice combination (six times), wouldn’t it be a decent wager to make? Charlie M.


The Any Seven proposition wager is a one-roll bet in which you are wagering that the number 7 will show on the next roll of the dice. And correct you are, Charlie, there are six ways of rolling a 7 to win. But oops! do not overlook the fact that there are also thirty ways to lose. The house loves those Any Seven bets, and will offer you free hot dogs without limit. But let’s take the numbers and have a little lunch-crunch.


The odds of a 7 appearing are 6 for, 30 against, or 5 to 1. And what are our friendly casino owners willing to pay you when it does hit? Four to 1, which gives them a whopping house edge of 16.67%, the highest of any proposition wager on a crap game. Readers familiar with this column, Charlie, know that I am hostile to any proposition bet on the dice game. ANY!


Gambling thought of the week: “Gambling has been a staple of Nevada life forever, except for that period half a billion years past when the entire state was under water.” – Barry Meadow



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