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Casinos See Raising Table Limits as Economic Common Sense

Author: Mark Pilarski

Dear Mark: Last weekend, on three separate occasions, the pit boss raised the table limits higher while I was playing. It went from $5 to $10, then all the way up to $25. Why do they do that?
R. D.

Given that your question came from Joliot, my guess is that you were playing on the green felt of the flotillas on the river. From the casino’s point of view, not mine, it makes fiscal sense to increase the limits when the boat is full of captured customers willing to surrender to higher table limits. They figure, Rick, that you won’t swim to shore.

Here in Nevada, many casinos have the policy of raising the table limits for new players only. Your $5 play would have been grandfathered in.

Dear Mark: Recently I hit a jackpot for $1,200 on a 25¢ slot machine. The casino was not going to pay me until I provided them with my driver's license and social security number. I only complied because I wanted my winnings. Was there any way around this?
S. G.

Not really, Stan. Casinos are required to report to the IRS any slot jackpot of $1,200 or more. Because you played at the quarter level, your best bet would have been finding a machine that had a jackpot of $1,199—one dollar below the amount at which casinos are obliged to take your identification.

Some exist on the boats in the midwest.

Dear Mark: What is the house edge in Caribbean Stud and what are my chances of being dealt a natural royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house and a flush?
D. H.

The game Caribbean Stud carries a 5.6% house edge.

The odds of being dealt a royal flush are approximately 650,000-1, 70,000-1 against a straight flush, 4,000-1 against a four of a kind, 700-1 against a full house and 500-1 against a flush.

Dear Mark: Are casino owners ever afraid of system players?
M. J.

Gamblers believe in systems, the casinos believe in mathematics. Most, if not all, casino owners are willing to give away the house - room, food and everage - to any system player willing to wager big bucks.

Dear Mark: In a previous column you mentioned that you didn’t like Multi-Action blackjack, but you failed to give an explanation. How about one?
D. G.

Why? Because Multi-Action multiplies the urge for most players to misplay their hands.

Far too many players employ a never-bust strategy because they are fearful of losing all three bets at once. They stand on a 12 regardless of the dealer up-card. They wish, hope and pray the dealer will bust on one or more hands. This can be a bankroll-killer. At a $5 minimum table, if you are unwilling to risk $15 on a hit/stand decision, you should not be playing Multi-Action.

Secondly, your blackjack bankroll needs to be higher. Five dollar players have to make $15 worth of bets. A few triple losses and you’re in the keno lounge begging for a free drink.

Finally, often the house rules of Multi-Action are inferior to that of regular blackjack. An example of this would be being unable to double down after splits on a Multi-Action game.

You work hard for your money, Dawn. Why give the casino any extra edge?