If there ever is an appropriate time to throw a tantrum—it is now.

When the new dealer stepped up I was betting two hands of $500 each at an advantaged count. She burned a card, waited for a player to finish fumbling with his bet, burned a card, and dealt out the round.

Catch that? Two burn cards.

I got a hard 13 and a hard 14. Dealer got an ace.  Cue tantrum.

“You burned two cards!” I whine.

“Did I?” At my insistence she calls for the pit boss. I huff and I puff and I reiterate.

“She burned two cards instead of one!”  The pit boss dabs the sweat on his forehead with his tie. He decrees unto us the option to pull back bets on hands we don’t find to our liking. I don’t hesitate. The dealer flips a nine under to make a hand of 20. I would have lost both hands.

Dealer errors overwhelmingly play to the advantage of the player. When they are in your favor, you win. When they are not in your favor, you win–as long as you call them on it (and occasionally “help” the pit see it your way).  You can earn chances to pull back on ugly hands, play the round with both dealer cards exposed, etc.

I once had a hard 18 and saw a three sitting face up in the shoe, perched to come out next. I quickly doubled down for a guaranteed 21 and almost laughed myself out of the chair when the pit let the result stand. Stay on your toes, people!

–Loudon Ofton

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