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final value of the player and bank hand is declared,
the high hand wins. If the hands are of the same
value, a tie is declared, and both the player and
banker bets are returned to the players. The payoff
for a winning bet on the player is 1 to 1. The banker
bet, which has a higher chance of success than the
player bet, is paid at 1 to 0.95. This is because
the casino takes a commission, or cagnotte, of 5
percent for all winning bets on the bank hand. Commissions
on the bank hand are recorded by one of the dealers.
The amount is usually settled once the shoe has
been dealt out or the player leaves the table. Ties
are paid off at 8 to 1. Casinos usually advertise
this as 9 for l.
games of chance are run so that a small percentage
favors the games operators at the expense of the
players. In the short term, luck will shift back
and forth between the house and its customers. Over
the long term, however, the results will average
out to give the house its percentage of every bet
placed. Except in very unusual circumstances, the
house always plays with this "edge" in
its favor. This edge not only accounts for casinos'
profits, but must also cover their expenses. Someone
has to pay for all those chandeliers.
The best bet is to side with the banker. The banker
bet has a house edge of 1.06 percent. This is one
of the most favorable bets in the casino. Many players
think that because of the commission, the bank is
a bad bet. In fact, the bank has a slight informational
advantage-the bank's third-card drawing decision
is based on a logical assessment of the player hand.
For example, it helps the bank to stand on a 3 when
the player draws an 8 as his third card. Though
normally a bad total, the banker's 3 will beat the
player's total 3 to 2 (three out of five) occasions,
giving him a substantial edge in this situation.
The banker benefits from knowing that the player
has probably worsened his hand by drawing an 8.
The player's first two cards could total only 0
to 5, so an 8 will help only on 0 or 1 and hinder
on 2, 3, 4, or 5. A banker's 3 will beat the player
if his two-card score is 3 or 4 (+ 8= 0, l, or 2),
lose against a player's two-card 0 or 1 (+ 8 = 8
or 9), and tie against the player's 5 (+8=3).
what does all this tabular data tell us? It is a matter
of common sense that the fewer the number of opponents,
the greater the chance that your hand will be best,
which means that forcing opponents to fold always
has a beneficial effect on \,-our odds of syinning.
However, the degree to which fewer opponents helps
you depends greatly on the strength of the hand you
hold. Verify this for yourself by going to the table
and comparing the winning chances of a straight flush
and a pair of two's against increasing numbers of
As we said, a pair of two's against one opponent wins
about .50 percent of the time-not bad. But against
seven players, it wins less than 1 percent of the
time. As the number of opponents increases, the prospects
of your little pair plummet dramatically.
Compare that to a straight flush. It has a greater
than 99.99 percent chance of winning against one opponent.
Against seven opponents, it .still has a chance of
winning of more than 99.99 percent. In other words,
no matter how many opponents are up against your straight
flush, you are going to win. As opposed to a hand
like paired 2's, the winning chances of a straight
flush are virtually impervious to the number of opponents.
should now be obvious: The weaker a hand, the More
it is hurt by the presence of inore opponents. Conversely,
the stronger a hand, the less it is hurt by the presence
of more opponents.