Split Double Destroy - Odd Casino Countermeasures - Blackjack Apprenticeship

Split Double Destroy – Odd Casino Countermeasures


Once they suspect you of having an advantage, casinos sometimes take odd measures  in trying to defeat you. In two instances that I can remember, they tried to dissuade me by slowing the game down in infuriating and equally hilarious ways.

I was at a small casino where I had played several long sessions over the course of weeks. A new dealer checked in and dealt extremely slowly. No worries, I thought. I saw my favorite dealer on deck, and she was one of the fastest dealers I had ever seen. As long as your game isn’t thrown off, fast dealers drive your EV up by virtue of raising your hands per hour. The slow dealer checked out and the new dealer came in, but she too, was dealing extremely slowly.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. I could see it was bothering her. She made it clear in not so many words that she had been told to slow the game down. She loved dealing at her own speedy rhythm, and this was killing her. As we continued, she slowly sped up until she was back to her normal speed. The casino owner himself appeared from a back room, pulled a pit boss aside, and I couldn’t help but notice he was yelling about my dealer’s speed. The pit boss tapped her out for another dealer and the tyranny of tree sap dealing began anew.

Another time, I was destroying a medium-sized tribal casino in one of my biggest sessions ever. I had just emptied a rack in the middle of a shoe, and an emergency fill was ordered. We waited and waited, and when the fill finally came, it was in the form of all green and red chips ($25 and $5 respectively). Of course it was only a few hands later that I emptied the rack again. Another emergency fill was ordered. We waited and waited and waited. I complained to the pit boss about the wait, and about the fact that if they had brought larger denomination chips the first time, this wouldn’t have happened. He assured me it was being taken care of. We waited and waited. I couldn’t leave. The shoe was hot, I was owed money, and the other tables were too crowded to realistically bide my time spotting. When, after three epochs and an ice age the fill finally came, it was all reds and greens AGAIN. The casino was trying to defeat me by paying me out as slowly and awkwardly as possible.

I played out the shoe that way, winning the whole time. Our table had become a circus side show with massive piles of red chips moving back and forth. Betting a three foot stack of reds got me a quicker payout by virtue of the dealer being able to “size in” than did betting black chips. When the show ended, I had to stack rack upon rack of green and red chips in my arms and teeter off to the cage, whereas a small pile of purples would have sufficed. I was laughing the whole way.

—Loudon Ofton

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