What does a pit boss do?

In land-based casinos, gaming tables for blackjack, craps, roulette and other games are typically arranged, back-to-back, in groups or ‘pits’ on the gaming floor. As the title suggests, the pit boss is the person who oversees the operation of a particular pit. This of course isn’t the case in the virtual world of the best casino sites online. The pit boss has numerous responsibilities, not least the supervision of all the games in the pit, including dealers and other personnel, to ensure that they run smoothly, according to the policies of the casino and the regulations of the jurisdiction in which it operates.

The pit boss can open and close gaming tables in response to demand, staffing levels and availability and move staff around to create the best possible gaming experience for players. Indeed, the pit boss is heavily involved in customer service, meeting and greeting players, answering questions, resolving disputes quickly and fairly and generally ensuring that players are happy and comfortable. Indeed, this may extend to opening lines of credit or offering ‘comps’, such as free drinks, meals and hotel rooms to winning players as an enticement to stay in the casino and keep playing.

The pit boss must account for all the money entering, or leaving, the pit while he or she is on duty, so must be constantly aware of the security risks posed by so-called ‘advantage players’, such as card counters, and just plain, out-and-out cheats. Again tasks that don’t apply to online casinos like https://www.casinosonline-canada.ca/ .   Of course, dealers and other pit personnel may be guilty of dishonesty, either of their own volition or in collusion with players, so the pit boss really does need eyes in the back of his head.

Who invented the video slot machine?

Of course, nowadays, video slot machines are ubiquitous in land-based and online casinos worldwide. Check out any high roller casino, and you’ll understand this to be the case.  However, when the first such machine, ‘Fortune Coin’, was introduced in Las Vegas in 1975, it was viewed with more than a degree of scepticism. Dyed-in-the-wool slot players, accustomed to physical reels falling into line, under mechanical or electromechanical control, simply failed to believe that the new-fangled technology, with no moving parts at all, could possibly produce fair results and the Fortune Coin failed to take off as expected.

The inventor of the Fortune Coin was Walt Fraley, proprietor of the aptly-named Fortune Coin Company, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Fortune Coin was a simple affair; it was a three-reel video slot, built around a modified 19” Sony Trinitron colour television set. ‘Reels’ no longer existed, in the physical sense, and were, in fact, video projections, the finishing positions were determined by a microprocessor and a random number generator (RNG). The Fortune Coin was brilliant in its simplicity and, despite its lukewarm reception, at least initially, by slot players, worked flawlessly.

Obviously, the graphical display of the Fortune Coin was crude by twenty-first century standards, but the potential of the design was recognised by William ‘Si’ Redd, founder of International Game Technology (IGT) and later known as the ‘King of Slot Machines’. A year or so after its original introduction, in 1976, IGT bought the patent for Fortune Coin from Fraley and used it as the basis several new, improved machines, including video poker machines, which further ushered in the age of the video slot. Of course, technology moves on and video slot technology can now been seen on any number of best online casinos around. Online or off, they’re as engrossing and exciting as ever!

Can you count a six-deck shoe?

In a famous scene from the 1988 Oscar-winning film ‘Rain Man’, an apparently-savvy casino security guard says, sagely, while watching main protagonist Charlie Babbit playing blackjack at Caesars Palace, ‘You know there’s no-one in the world that can count into a six-deck shoe.’ However, as anyone familiar with the ‘High-Low’ card counting strategy can testify, this statement is completely untrue, even at the best big win casinos.

When using High-Low, a card counter starts with a ‘running count’ of zero at the start of a shoe and adds to, or subtracts from, the running count as each card is revealed, according to the point value assigned to each rank. Aces, court cards and tens are assigned +1, twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes are assigned -1 and sevens, eights and nines are assigned 0. The next step is to divide the running count by the number of decks remaining or, at least, a rough approximation of the number of decks remaining, to establish the so-called ‘true count’. In other words, anyone capable of basic arithmetic is capable of counting a six-deck shoe, or an eighty-deck shoe for that matter. This is the case worldwide, from vegas, all the way to a south african casino. It’s all the same!

 It is understandable that Barry Levinson employed dramatic licence to make card counting the preserve of those, such as the autistic savant character Raymond ‘Rain Man’ Babbit, endowed with extraordinary mathematical skills, but the mundane fact is that, with practice, just about anyone can do it. Any casino security guard worth his salt would have known this, even in the late Eighties, but such a revelation would have ruined the plot.

Should you always spit aces in blackjack?

In blackjack, if you are dealt a pair of aces you have the option of splitting your cards into two new hands. If you take this option, you need to place a second bet, equal to your original stake, to cover the second hand. You are dealt one – and, in most casinos, only one – additional card on each split ace, you usually cannot double down after split and, if you are dealt another ace, you cannot split again.

According to basic blackjack strategy – which describes the mathematically correct way to play any hand – you should always split a pair of aces, regardless of the card the dealing is showing. A pair of aces technically makes a ‘soft’ total of 12 which, granted that tens and court cards make up 16/52, or 30.76%, of a standard deck of cards, is a difficult starting hand. Notwithstanding the fact that you need to double your stake, and therefore your risk, creating two hands in which the first card is worth 11 points is one of the strongest plays in blackjack; it is, in fact, one of the few moves that has a positive expectation against any dealer upcard.

Any ten or court card – or four of the 13 possibilities – will yield a total of 21, against which the best the dealer can do is push, while a 7, 8 or 9 – or another three of the 13 possibilities – will yield a total of 18 or better. The average winning hand in blackjack is 18.5 so, while there are also six possibilities whereby you can win only if the dealer busts, the attraction of splitting aces is clear to see.

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