OnceDear
OnceDear
Joined: Jun 1, 2014
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LostWages
January 26th, 2015 at 3:07:49 PM permalink
Hi All,

Tonight I was faced with a dealer error that wrong-footed me and left me deep in thought. I'm not morally averse to taking gentle advantage of dealer errors. But I'm not a mean and deliberate cheat.

Here's the scenario:-
I was playing recreationally head to head at my local provincial casino in the UK. Table stakes £2-£1,000, No DAS. It was quiet with just me playing and the pit supervisor was paying no attention. No pressure, no counting, no heat. I'd bought in for £50 and was intent on playing about 2 hours at £2 - £10 per hand. I was initially messing about, playing £2 hands and doubling twice on wins. After about an hour I was at £130 or so BR and playing £5 or £10 a hand, all the time heads up. After a while, as is my habit, I said to the dealer that I would stop and take a few minutes break. It might seem like odd behaviour, but I sat facing the dealer, swigged my coffee and didn't bet. There was no intent to trick, hypnotise or confuse the dealer. The table was red and so were my chips.
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Then, to my surprise, he dealt to my empty box. I got 2 aces to his 8.

I looked up and said. "Erm, I didn't bet, I'm resting.... Oh well, don't worry about it". I expected him to discard the cards, but he looked a bit phased, scooped up the three cards and called over the pit supervisor. We explained what had happened. She asked the order of the cards and said that they should go back in front of the shoe (auto shuffle) to be played in same order at the next hand. i was well shaken and said that I expected them to be discarded and that it felt like I it was a bit unfair that I now knew the next cards. She explained that they weren't allowed to burn cards and that it was just my 'advantage' that I knew the order. As it happened, she had put the cards in the wrong order, so I said 'OK. but you've put the cards wrong and they will come out A8 for me against A for dealer.' She checked, apologised and put them right. I'm 50:50 about whether she made that error intentionally, but that's by the by.
At this time I was a bit at a loss as to what to do. I made it clear that I did not want to take any unfair advantage, but she said " No: sorry, it was our mistake and this is what we have to do". If I was to play another game, I had to play those 3 cards in that order. Wow! Irritated, bemused, and staring at what seemed like an easy AP*. I had about £150 in red chips and much more in cash, what should I do and what might be the consequences? I considered popping £50 into each of three boxes and take my chances, and I considered pushing £50 into the one box with the intent of splitting those aces. I even considered walking away.
My eventual play was to push my normal £5 forward and split those aces. I got two tens against dealer bust for two easily won hands. Without hesitation, I tossed the dealer a £5 tip for treating me fairly. We all smiled and carried on. I played about 7 more hands, winning 5 of them and coloured up for a nice successful fun two hour session.

Now: Opinions please: How could I or should I have played it? What if I'd played mean and whacked an uncharacteristically big bet on this pre-determined good hand? What if the misdealt cards had been absolutely favourable, such as a Blackjack against his 8? From a technical standpoint, would the casino have forced me to play with that advantage and would they have let me thrash them with a big or even massive pre-won bet?

I want to be ready for next time ;)

*Also, How big was my advantage, if any?
Embrace the Variance Good news: I was once at a lifetime Blackjack Profit of £18K Bad News: Gravity prevailed.
DRich
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
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January 26th, 2015 at 3:18:17 PM permalink
Interesting question. Since they handled well and were very nice to you, I would have asked the pit boss how much they would let me bet on that hand. Then I would have bet the lessor of that amount or half my bankroll.
Deucekies
Deucekies
Joined: Jan 20, 2014
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January 26th, 2015 at 3:20:30 PM permalink
Interesting that you're not allowed to muck the cards. I wonder if that's an England thing, or just that casino's policy. In Washington state, what we are not allowed to do is back up the cards, like your casino did. The cards must either be discarded or play as they lie.

I know how I would rule as a pit boss. I would leave the cards as they lie, and I would let you wager up to your last bet or your average bet. This pit boss was very generous with her ruling letting you bet whatever you wanted.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
OnceDear
OnceDear
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January 26th, 2015 at 3:32:01 PM permalink
Quote: Deucekies

I know how I would rule as a pit boss. I would leave the cards as they lie, and I would let you wager up to your last bet or your average bet. This pit boss was very generous with her ruling letting you bet whatever you wanted.



I would have been happy to discard them, which is what I expected to happen. The question was never raised about how much I might bet. I felt it honourable to just play what had been my recent bet amount. The tip pretty much cancelled out any advantage. None of this was of any real consequence in the end. But it could have been if I'd been super aggressive in taking the advantage, or if the hand had been a Blackjack, where I think I would have invited the pit boss to restrict my next bet.
Embrace the Variance Good news: I was once at a lifetime Blackjack Profit of £18K Bad News: Gravity prevailed.
Dieter
Dieter
Joined: Jul 23, 2014
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January 26th, 2015 at 3:39:53 PM permalink
Quote: OnceDear

How should I have played it?



The ethical side of me says - If you're taking a break, stand up.

Don't do anything "obvious", like going more than double your previous bet. You might want to put a bet out for the dealer, too.

I think it's perfectly fair to drop your bet to table minimum if you know you have a bad hand coming.
May the cards fall in your favor.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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January 26th, 2015 at 3:41:22 PM permalink
No need to feel guilty about the dealer's error, or that you now know the cards to come. Rules are rules and you did your best to avoid a situation where you can take advantage.

But should you go all out to take advantage? Tough question. Will they give you negative marks on your player's club account? Dunno.

Frankly, I'd feel guilty about over-doing taking advantage of the situation. That said, I'd probably bet about double my normal bet.



Quote: OnceDear

I want to be ready for next time ;)

Sounds like you're planning on taking another break, hoping to induce the same error. That seems like a bad idea.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition.
OnceDear
OnceDear
Joined: Jun 1, 2014
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January 26th, 2015 at 3:50:55 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Sounds like you're planning on taking another break, hoping to induce the same error. That seems like a bad idea.



No not really. It is quite normal for me to take brief time out breaks to glug my coffee or assess my stack of chips. That won't change. I'm not looking to induce or abuse this type of error. I just don't want to be wrong footed again.
Embrace the Variance Good news: I was once at a lifetime Blackjack Profit of £18K Bad News: Gravity prevailed.
michael99000
michael99000
Joined: Jul 10, 2010
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January 26th, 2015 at 3:55:35 PM permalink
I would've gone to the ATM or done whatever I hadda do to get 3 max bets out there on 3 spots.

Why would you ever show any mercy to a casino when they've knowingly agreed to give u the opportunity
OnceDear
OnceDear
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January 26th, 2015 at 4:00:31 PM permalink
Quote: Dieter

The ethical side of me says - If you're taking a break, stand up.

I often stop my play for 30 seconds to a minute or so, to glug my coffee or to catch my breath when the dealer is fast. I don't feel any urge to stand at those times, though I do feel it appropriate to maybe change my position, such as swivelling my chair 60 to 90 degrees, just in the interest of saving confusion.

Quote: Dieter

Don't do anything "obvious", like going more than double your previous bet. You might want to put a bet out for the dealer, too.

Agreed. I didn't want to give any impression that I was encouraging the dealer to make mistakes.

Quote: Dieter

I think it's perfectly fair to drop your bet to table minimum if you know you have a bad hand coming.

Absolutely agree with no qualms at all.
Embrace the Variance Good news: I was once at a lifetime Blackjack Profit of £18K Bad News: Gravity prevailed.
OnceDear
OnceDear
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January 26th, 2015 at 4:07:19 PM permalink
Quote: michael99000

I would've gone to the ATM or done whatever I hadda do to get 3 max bets out there on 3 spots.

Why would you ever show any mercy to a casino when they've knowingly agreed to give u the opportunity



Not really my style. I've no wish to cause career issues for employees. I don't want a reputation for being ruthless. The money is not everything. My current thinking is that I would behave honourably to the extent of asking the pit supervisor if she wishes to burn the cards, reconsider or consult, or to restrict my next play. Only if she declined all of those options would I feel it appropriate to agressively punish the error. Even then, I would make it clear that I'm about to try to exploit that advantage, and is she sure that she doesn't want to review her decision...... Then, I would maybe cane it.
Embrace the Variance Good news: I was once at a lifetime Blackjack Profit of £18K Bad News: Gravity prevailed.

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