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Cutting for Advantage
 

A reader says:I like to play Online Blackjack Games at a casino that does not do a thorough shuffle, making it possible for one to note the count at the shuffle point, and watch how the dealer shuffles, following the stack of previously unused cards. If the count was, say, -10 at the shuffle point and you then cut the cards, you can cut the same unused cards to the back of the stack. Conversely, if the count had been +10, you could cut such that the unused cards (and hopefully more aces and 10s) are the first dealt and you can increase your first few bets accordingly. The person sitting in third base gets the cut card more frequently, since if the dealer deals the cut card to himself he passes it to third base to cut.

On my second trip my husband went with me. He is not a counter, but plays basic strategy while I use the high-low. We sat together at a $2 table, he at third base, me next to him where I could see the cards a bit more easily. Between us we received the cut card about half the time. Whenever my husband got the cut card, he asked me to cut "for luck" and I did so according to the count. Once, when the deck was neutral at the shuffle point, I told him to go ahead and cut.

We had a relatively new dealer who was making an abnormally large number of mistakes, such as not paying off Online Blackjack Gamess correctly, misadding cards, etc. Once he counted twenty-one on his five-card hand, beating the table, only to be informed by one of the players (fortunately) that he really had a twenty-two. We had to watch him extremely carefully, as most of the mistakes were in the house's favor. Some mistakes were in our favor. One time he paid off my husband's natural, and my husband left his standard $2 bet. After the dealer busted he paid off the entire table, giving my husband another $2.

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New Players
 
A new player receives cards immediately and is not obligated to post blinds or a dealer ante. However, in games With blinds, a player may not enter the game in the small blind or dealer position and must wait until the deal passes to receive a hand.
 
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