How do you play blackjack?

Blackjack is a gambling card game, played with one or more 52-card decks of cards, in which players try to beat the dealer by acquiring cards with a face value higher than the dealer, but totalling 21 and no more or, in the event that the dealer draws additional cards, such that their face value exceeds 21 – in other words, the dealer ‘busts’ – simply with a face value totalling 21 and no more. Aces count as 1 or 11 points, tens and court cards count as 10 points and all other cards count as face value. An ace and a ten or court card constitutes ‘blackjack’, the highest possible hand, which pays odds of 3/2, or 6/5, provided the dealer does not also have blackjack, in which case the result is a tie, or ‘push’.

Each player places a bet and the dealer deals two cards, face down, to each player and two to himself, the first of which, known as the hole card, is dealt face down and the second of which, known as the upcard, is dealt face up. If the upcard is an ace, the dealer offers an optional side bet, known as insurance, whereby players can bet, at odds of 2/1, for not more than half their original bet, that the hold card is a ten or a court card. If the upcard is a ten, a court card or an ace, the dealer checks the hole card to see if he has blackjack and, if so, turns over the hole card immediately. If the dealer has blackjack, all bets, except insurance, are lost, unless a player also has blackjack.

Thereafter, each player, starting with the player immediately to the left of the dealer, may choose to stand (pat), hit, double, split or, if allowed, surrender. To hit means to draw one, or more, cards, to double, or double down, means to double an original bet in return for a single card, while to split means to split a pair, or two 10-point cards, to form two individual hands. Surrender, where offered, means to forfeit half the original bet and take no further part in the hand.

After each player has concluded his turn, the dealer reveals the hold card. He will hit on 16 or less and stand on 17 or more, with the possible except of a soft 17, made up of an ace and a six, or a combination of cards totalling six. If the dealer hits and exceeds 21, all players with hands totalling 21 or less win, otherwise any players outscoring the dealer wins.

Casinos all over the world have shut down – what’s next for the casino industry?

As we are facing an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis throughout the world, we all share the responsibility for social distancing at every level of society.

Governments are worldwide making both great effort and severe decisions, declaring health emergency states including cancelling social gatherings, introducing strict measures like home-office working and school closures, aiming to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The impact of COVID-19 on the casino business

Casinos are- each in their own way – worldwide dealing with this crisis, which means that most of them are remaining open till the government brings exact measures of closing. In this situation, gaming and Casino Slots machines can be enjoyed online, although a number of articles are reporting that passionate gamers are in fact still visiting casinos and are not willing to give up on their enjoyable hobby and their adopted habits, even despite the warnings that the situation is severe. Public care health professionals are constantly appealing that we all are obliged to act responsible and avoid any unnecessary social contacts.

Casino Resorts shutting down

Many casino resorts, among them the MGM Resorts International as well, have recently officially stated that they are shutting down their gaming areas, and all reservations are temporarily cancelled.

Jim Joseph Murren, the CEO of MGM Resorts International said that “it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression”, however emphasizing that their resorts will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so. Meanwhile, they will provide active support to their workers, customers and the social community.

Wynn Las Vegas also officially confirmed that they are going to close their resorts for at least 14 days. However, they announced, that their guests who booked directly and within the period after March 17th, will get full refunds, and guests who are at the moment staying at their resorts, shall make rearrangements, accordingly.

Situation in Macau, the „Gambling Mecca“ , and in Manila

In order to slow down the corona virus outbreak, China might, after having a two-week ban in the Macau region, give again „green light“ for travelling activities.

Nomura analysts are optimistic: according to them China hopefully will soon – maybe even starting by May – be hosting their so much needed casino tourists.

However, meanwhile, after the casino was closed, another infected person has been detected in Macau, the 11th so far. She is a South Korean non-resident worker who has recently visited Portugal.

In Manila, after the community quarantine has been proclaimed, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), have banned all gaming operations, by the 15th of March. First, it seemed that casinos will stay open; the restrictions applied to land-based casinos, eGames, traditional and electronic bingo game, sports betting, poker and slot machine clubs. However, new restrictions related to the further development of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis have been brought, according to which all establishments are closed.

Online gaming and online casinos – a fun alternative meanwhile

Fact is, casinos all over the world are shutting down. Passionate gamers among us can play online and still enjoy a good game, there are plenty of them to choose from. Based on given circumstances it will take some time before the situation stabilizes in all areas of living. Meanwhile, while being in self-isolation, which is indeed an effective precautionary measure to protect those around us and ourselves, let´s act responsible and hope for the best.

What are the odds against throwing a seven in craps?

Craps, of course, involves rolling two dice, each of which can land on one of six possible numbers, which makes a total of 36 possible number combinations. The odds against throwing a seven or, indeed, any other specific total, in craps is determined by the number of ways to throw that total. Seven can be thrown in six different ways – the highest number of possible combinations for any two-dice total – and, unsurprisingly, is the most frequently rolled number. The probability of rolling a seven is 6/36 or, reduced to the lowest common denominator, 1/6, so mathematically, a player can expect to see a seven once in every six rolls. In other words, the odds of throwing a seven on any roll of two dice, randomly, are 5/1.

Of course, in craps, if you are betting ‘pass’ and you roll a seven on your first, or ‘come-out’, roll you win; if you roll a seven once a point has been established you lose. The pass bet is the fundamental bet in craps, paying even money, with a house edge of 1.41%. Players can also bet on the single-roll ‘Any Seven’ or ‘Big Red’, which wins if the next number thrown is a seven; the winning odds, though, are just 4/1, or a full point lower than the true odds, which equates to a house edge of 16.67%. So, despite the mathematical expectancy of seven occurring more often than any other number, Any Seven is the definitive ‘sucker’ bet in craps.

What happens if you’re caught cheating in a casino?

Despite the image portrayed by Hollywood, nowadays, if you’re caught cheating in a casino you’re unlikely to come to physical harm but, depending on what you do and where you do it, you could find yourself in serious trouble. By definition, cheating is illegal, but punishments for cheats, or suspected cheats, vary from casino to casino and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

If you’re caught cheating, or even just suspected of cheating, you can reasonably expect to be detained and interrogated by casino security staff. In Nevada, for example, casino staff need only identify probable cause to detain suspected cheats, as long as the conditions under, and the length of time for which, a suspect is detained are deemed ‘reasonable’. If, following interrogation, the casino finds evidence of wrongdoing, you could be charged with a felony; if convicted, you could be liable for up to six years’ imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000, plus restitution to the casino.

Nevada casinos can also, legally, seize your winnings if you are suspected of cheating. Furthermore, if your cheating is warranted serious enough, your name could be entered onto the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) Excluded Person List, colloquially known as the ‘Black Book’. The Black Book is essentially a ‘Who’s Who’ of charlatans, crooks and rogues from the past two or three decades – including infamous cheats, such as Tommy Glenn Carmichael and Ronald Dale Harris – who are, or were, permanently excluded from every casino in Nevada as a result of their illegal activity.

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