Vancouver, B.C. If plans proceed as developers hope, the city of Delta, B.C., part of the Vancouver metropolitan area, should be getting a huge new gaming complex. All the paperwork was completed last year. The city was told it could net between $1.5 million and $3 million per year in return for approving the project. The owners of the planned complex are Gateway Casinos. The facility will be completed this year on a 10.8-acre site. More than 700 jobs will be created. Nearly 200 hotel rooms are part of the plans.
California. For a long time, many in California have tried to get on-line poker legalized in that state. Bills making the change and approving this type of gaming have died on the vine in the legislature over the years. But, there are published reports that the concept will be revived in the coming months. Some progress was made two years ago when one member of the state legislature gained significant support for the plan. The debate this year could be vital to the future of on-line poker.
Macau. MGM Resorts International recently opened a new nearly three-and-a-half-billion-dollar gaming facility in Macau. The opening was timed to coincide with the traditional rush of gamblers to that area. The new property is the second major inroad into the lucrative Macau market by MGM in recent years. Reports in the international press say that the resort will be family-friendly and will triple the number of hotel rooms in Macau.
British Columbia. Media in British Columbia, Canada, are reporting that an investigation into alleged third-party cash buy-ins at the River Rock Casino has resulted in the revoking of the registration of the casino’s director of VIP gambler relations. Information shows that the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch in B.C. has said “NO” to the gamer involved. She had worked with high rollers at the Richmond, B.C., facility for the past six years. The investigation into the illegal practice began last fall.
U.K. The well-known group Kindred, an on-line gaming company, says it is strengthening its efforts to help secure the integrity of sports betting in the United Kingdom. It has now officially joined the group Sports Betting Intelligence Forum. The watchdog group says it welcomes Kindred Group as the latest member. The chairman of the forum, Chris Watts, says he is looking forward to the operator becoming an active member and helping to make a positive contribution to the delivery of our action plan.
Here are answers to questions that I received from blackjack players.
Am I allowed to hit or double down on a blackjack hand if I consider it as 11 instead of 21?
Some casinos will allow you to hit or double down a blackjack and others will not. It’s best to ask before you play. However, I would not recommend to double down on a blackjack in a normal game (it’s best to take the 1.5 to 1 payoff). However, in the first blackjack tournament ever held in Atlantic City, I lost to a player who doubled down on his blackjack hand on the last hand to beat me (he won his double down). Doubling was the only way he could end up with more chips than me (doubling his blackjack was a smart tournament play).
Should you hit a hard sixteen against the dealer’s 7 thru Ace, if the 16 consists of three or more cards?
You should stand on a 16 consisting of three or more cards only against a dealer’s 10.
What do you mean when you say, “soft 19, soft 13, etc?” Could you please explain?
A soft hand in blackjack is any hand that contains an ace counted as an 11. For example, an ace-6 is a soft 17. So is ace-3-3. If you were dealt a 2-5 and drew an ace, you would have a soft 18 hand. The soft hand in blackjack is played much differently than a hard hand (a hard hand either doesn’t contain an ace, or if it contains one or more aces they are counted as 1). For example, a 10-7 is a hard hand and you should always stand, whereas an ace-6 is a soft hand and you should never stand.
Why is it wrong to double down on hard 12 if the dealer has a bust card (4, 5, or 6)? Granted you risk busting, but even if you’re not counting, the odds of busting are less then 50% so doesn’t this mean you’ll win enough on your doubles to make up for the ones you bust on?
No, you will never make enough when you double down on 12 against 4, 5, or 6 to make it a better play than hitting. On average, if you stand on 12 against a 5 you will win 42% of the hands and lose 58%. If you hit, you only win 40% of the hands and lose 60% of them. If you doubled down you would never do better then winning 40% of the hands and the times you break you would lose double your bet. Trust me that you will never make enough on the winning double down hands to compensate for the amount you lose when you break. Standing on 12 against 4, 5, and 6 is the better play because you will lose less in the long run compared to hitting, and much less compared to doubling.
Would you ever double down on a soft 19 or should you always stand?
In a double- and six-deck game where the rules specify the dealer must hit soft 17, you should double down on a soft 19 against a dealer’s 6 upcard. (In a single-deck game, you should always double soft 19 against a 6).
How often does a player receive blackjack? What percent of the hands in the game does the dealer bust? What is the name of the game where all the 10s are removed? What does it mean by “mimic the dealer?”
A player can expect to receive a blackjack once in every 21.92 hands (six-deck game)
The dealer will bust about 28% of the time.
The name of the game where all the 10s are removed is called Spanish 21.
Mimic the dealer is a playing strategy used by some players in which they mimic the dealer’s strategy, namely, they hit on 16 or less and stand on 17 and more (which is not a recommended strategy).
Henry Tamburin is the editor of Blackjack Insider Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack Course (www.goldentouchblackjack.com), and host of www.smartgaming.com. For a FREE three-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to www.bjinsider.com/freetrial.com. To receive his FREE Casino Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit www.smartgaming.com.
Lucky Lotto News: Two-Timer in Michigan
Michigan Man Wins Second Lottery Prize
Kent Crawford, 40, of Gladwin, Michigan, was very happy to win $69,000 recently from the Michigan state lottery, especially since it made a nice addition to the $100,000 he won two years ago. Crawford was out for an evening of bowling when he decided to play Club Keno. “I had been playing a 10-spot and winning a few bucks here and there while I was bowling,” he said. “I noticed the The Jack was getting up there, so I decided to add that to my next ticket.” (The Jack is a Club Keno add-on game allowing players to add to their Club Keno wager starting at $1 per draw. It gives players eight easy-pick numbers to match to the Club Keno numbers drawn.) Crawford continued bowling and soon discovered his gamble had paid off when he matched eight of the 20 numbers. “I kept bowling, and after a while I saw The Jack amount had reset to $10,000 so I decided to check my ticket,” he said. “When the terminal printed a slip showing it was the winner, I couldn’t believe it!” Two years earlier, Crawford stopped for gas and saw that there was a Fantasy 5 ticket sitting on the terminal that had been printed by mistake. He bought it and it became a $100,000 winner.
NY Woman Misreads Big Ticket
Ruth Tritremmel, a retired bookkeeper from Queens, New York, won $5 million on a Bankroll scratch-off ticket—but didn’t know she was a millionaire right away. After buying the ticket at a local drug store, she took it home and gave it to her husband. He used a lucky penny to scratch it and told Tritremmel she won $5,000. The couple later took their winning ticket to the New York Lottery claim center, where they were informed that they could only receive up to $500,000. Tritremmel was at first confused, until the clerk explained that they had failed to scratch off all the numbers, which revealed that they had actually won the $5 million. The couple plans to use the prize money to help their family and buy a condo in Florida.
Iowa Man Lucky at Last
Eric Schaefer of Washburn, Iowa, has claimed the 13th of 18 top prizes of $250,000 from the Iowa Lottery’s $250,000 Riches scratch game. “I don’t even know how to feel right now because we typically don’t run into that kind of money,” Schaefer said. “We’re usually not very fortunate.” The 37-year-old inspector for Union Tank Car bought the ticket on his way to work and scratched it off in the parking lot of his workplace. “I said, ‘OK, I’m just going to do it fast, like a Band-Aid,’” he recalled. “I scratched it off really fast and it said ‘$250,000’ and I couldn’t believe it. I just kind of broke down. I was pretty emotional.” Schafer plans to use his winnings to pay off his mortgage and some other bills to become debt-free. The $250,000 Riches scratch game is a $20 ticket.
Woman Fights for Anonymity
A New Hampshire woman who bought a Powerball ticket worth $560 million is fighting to remain anonymous, saying in a lawsuit that releasing her name would “constitute a significant invasion of her privacy.” The woman says she made a “huge mistake” when she signed her name on the back of the ticket before contacting a lawyer, who told her she could have remained anonymous had she established a trust and then had a trustee sign the ticket. The woman has not yet claimed the prize, and the lawsuit says the fight for her anonymity is costing her a fortune in interest. The New Hampshire Lottery, however, is standing firm, saying that it must proceed in accordance to its rules and by state law in processing this claim like any other.