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The Last Thing

Now if you're playing an eight deck shoe, it'll be pretty tough to find a low enough card layout to give you an outright edge. You'll need a "+12 baby" board just to have a 1/4% advantage.

On the other hand, in double deck games it's easy to pin down an edge. All you need is a "+3 baby" layout. The problem is that many double deck games are "No Mid-Deck Entry", or if you can jump in, there may be but one or two rounds left before the shuffle.

Getting in Extra Hands: Now, what about when you're already at a crowded table and an impressive flurry of low cards has hit the board? If there's room to play two hands, go ahead and blurt out something like, "I gotta put in an extra hand to change these cards around -- they're brutal!" And what if there's no room for an extra hand? Then you might want to trigger the other players' superstitious instincts by making some bizarre play with your hand. Here's what I mean.

Let's say you've got 12 against a dealer's deuce with a $40 bet up. Well, you know you're going to take exactly one hit and then stand no matter what you catch. Doing that, you'll lose this hand five times out of eight (after adjusting for ties). There's absolutely nothing you can do about it. But there is something else you can do that might improve your odds. What is it?

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Chopping the Blinds
The "no flop, no drop" rule has led to a practice in some states called chopping the blinds. If everyone, except the blinds, folds, the two blinds will often agree to chop. This means that each blind takes his money back. This practice deprives the house of a rake on this hand and because heads-up pots tend to be small, often the players would rather move on to the next hand and not incur a rake.

You're under no obligation to chop as long as you're consistent. No one will object if, when you first sit down, you announce "By the way, I just want everyone to know I don't chop." That way, there can be no question of wrongdoing if, the very first time the situation arises, you happen to find yourself holding pocket aces. If you agree to chop the blinds when you first sit down (and that's when you should ask or be asked-things can get a little dicey if you wait until the potential situation first arises), you should chop every time.
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