Hara-kiri King wins the day in Sbobet


You mentioned in a column the phrase “deck penetration.” I believe I know what you mean by that, it being, how many cards have been dealt so far versus how many remain. I am writing to see if my suspicions are correct. Also, does penetration have any effect on my basic strategy play? Donnie B.

Correct, Donnie, deck penetration measures the quantity of cards that have been dealt before the dealer shuffles the cards. Penetration is usually expressed as the percentage of the deck already dealt, for example, “65%” or about 34 cards on a single deck.

Penetration is extremely important to card counters, but not indispensable for basic strategy players like you. Unless the dealer is outright cheating, or indulging in preferential shuffling thinking that plenty of 10s remain in the deck, the cards should be in a random order after each shuffle.

Bottom line: If the player is not counting down the deck and there’s no preferential shuffling, there is no advantage to the basic strategy player if the dealer were to allow 20% penetration, then shuffle, or plunge on to the 90% penetration level.

Dear Mark,

I thought I would share with you my first royal flush in 20 years. I needed the King of Hearts, and actually waited two minutes before I hit the draw button. For some reason, I really believed it was my day, so I waited before springing the king loose. What a thing of beauty when he appeared. Anyhow, thanks for all your advice on how to select machines by identifying good paytables. Though I never hit the royal until this past week, I am losing less often by knowing which machines to play. Curtis L.

Congratulations, Curtis, on beating the approximately 40,000-to-one odds against hitting a royal, and with the Suicide King no less, the King of Hearts. Why Suicide you ask? Well, pull out a deck of cards and look at his Majesty. On examination you’ll note the King of Hearts appears to be stabbing himself in the head.

Considering a royal flush can be elusive over a lifetime, I am delighted you got yours in only two decades.

Dear Mark,

Recently on a blackjack game, I had an 11 against a Sbobet dealer 6 with a $20 bet. All I had remaining was $10 and I stated “double for less.” The dealer would not let me do it. I thought I could. I won anyway, but $10 less than I should have. What should I do next time? Chuck D.

It had to have been a break-in dealer, Chuck, as I know of no casino, nor any seasoned dealer, who would not accept a “double for less” wager on a blackjack game.

Double for less is to double down with less than your original bet. When the rules permit doubling, the player does not have to actually double his bet, but can increase it by any amount up to, but never more than, the original wager.

If it ever happens again, Chuck, which I doubt it will, hold up your play and call over the pit boss. He will let you take your shot at an extra $10.

One more thought, readers. Because you only double down when you are more likely to win the hand than lose, you always want to wager the maximum amount. It is the double downs and blackjacks that jiggle your blackjack play from the red into the black. Do not shortchange yourself in these situations. Chuck just happened to be light in the pocketbook.

Gambling quote of the week: Winning and losing and the expectations therefrom are diverting. I conceive there would be no pleasure properly so called if a man were sure to win. It is the reconciling of uncertainty to our desires that creates the satisfaction. – Frederick Brandt, Games, Gaming and Gamesters’ Law.


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