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Friday, October 30th, 2015
Online entertainment website Film-News.co.uk has posted an interesting new article regarding the various inaccuracies surrounding the blackjack film “21”, which is loosely based on the MIT blackjack team that won big at various casinos in the 1990’s.
The website noted that there are at least six big inaccuracies pertaining to the events of the film, and they are all attached to various strategies that the group uses or the outcome of their scheme.
The six inaccuracies attached to the film in the article are:
– That the object of the game is to get as close to 21 as possible
– That card counters are geniuses and that workers at casinos are generally dumb
– That the card counters always won
– That splitting 8’s against Aces and 10s is for suckers
– The role that the spotters in the film played
– And that card counters are still beat up by casino security staff
The movie 21 was released in 2008 and stars Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, Lawrence Fishburne and Kate Bosworth. The plot of the movie follows a group of MIT students and their teacher (Spacey) as they make a run on various casinos by counting cards and walking away with big cash prizes. The movie was met with mixed reviews by critics, but still managed to net $157,802,470 at the box office.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2015
This week the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board voted to fine Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course $13,000 for operating blackjack tables even though decks for the games were missing a card.
The regulator fined the casino’s parent company “Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association” the large cash fine given the fact that the Hollywood Casino ran two gaming tables, “Spanish 21” and a standard blackjack game knowing that the games were missing cards. The incident took place in April of this year.
Hollywood Casino at Penn national Race Course first opened in 2008, with table games going live in 2010. The casino has 2,480 slot machines and 54 tables. Besides blackjack, the casino also offers poker, roulette, craps, and Pai Gow.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was founded in 2004 and serves as the Keystone State’s gaming regulator, overseeing the casino and horse racing industry. The state currently taxes slot revenues at a rate of 55%, while table game taxes stand at 14%.
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Monday, September 14th, 2015
A dispute between the state of Florida and the Seminole Indian tribe regarding blackjack at the state’s casinos is in mediation, and negotiations between the two groups is progressing.
A state Senator has said that negotiations between the two groups is making progress, and it is believed an agreement could be reached before an October deadline, which would require the tribe to stop offering banked card games at its casinos. Previously the Seminoles and state had signed a 5 year, $1 billion compact that gave exclusive rights to the tribe that expired, and no new agreement has been reached as of press time. For their part the tribe believes it retains the right to offer the games.
Commenting on the talks Senator Rob Bradley said, “We are making progress in discussions with the tribe. I’m hopeful that we can reach a point where we have something to offer to the membership to consider and debate.”
The state is expecting that any deal would have the state making a $250 million payment that it considers due annually, and the tribe would expect exclusive rights to the games in the Sunshine State.
Online Blackjack Odds will update this story as more developments arise.
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Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
New York City based Resorts World Casino has announced that they have begun offering video blackjack to their customers, as the casino launched 60 of the machines.
The casino has a goal of eventually offering 300 of the games in its casino, believing that the games will contribute at least $31 million to the state’s Lottery Education Fund… enough to hire 700 teachers.
The state of New York approved a regulation change in April that allowed the state’s racinos to begin offering games such as blackjack, provided the games are of the skill variety and are delivered in an electronic format.
A statement released by Resorts World New York President Ryan Eller on the issue read: “Resorts World is proud to do its part to help improve New York’s education system. The introduction of video blackjack furthers this support and helps to ensure more students throughout the city and state will earn a high-quality public education.”
Other betting sites such as Empire City Casino in Yonkers have also adopted the games as well, hoping that they can tap into the revenues being generated in states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
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Monday, May 12th, 2014
Several documentaries have been made on the game of blackjack, which is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Here is a list of the three top blackjack documentaries.
Breaking Vegas is a blackjack documentary based on the adventures of a group of MIT students and former students who learned card counting and won huge amounts of cash from Las Vegas casinos in the nineties. Made by History Channel, it provides an insight into the MIT phenomenon, giving clear details about their schemes and how they used their genius to beat Las Vegas casinos.
Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians is another blackjack documentary worth checking out as it is inspired by a US blackjack team of devout Christians, the biggest and the richest in the country. The Holy Rollers would travel from one casino to the other counting cards and winning thousands of dollars. They would say that one should learn to play blackjack in order to be a true disciple of Jesus.
Horizon: Making Millions the Easy Way is also a documentary inspired by the MIT group and traces their evolution from students to card counting high rollers in Las Vegas casinos.
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Friday, May 9th, 2014
A resident of Tulsa has pleaded guilty to receiving the assistance of a blackjack dealer to win blackjack games at the local Tulsa casino. The dealer in the case had already pleaded guilty long back.
Nam Quoc Le, aged 33 years old, pleaded guilty to a federal indictment of Jan 8, which accused him of cheating at the blackjack tables of Tulsa Osage Casino with the help of the blackjack dealer in the months of January and February.
Le stated that he had worked with dealer Misty Lynn White to win money at the blackjack tables illegally. His accomplice White has already been sentenced to a five-year probation term and ordered to return part of the $59,936.50 the casino has lost because of her illegal activities.
Le said that White would show him the cards while playing blackjack so that he could use this information to his advantage. The casino staff became suspicious and video footage showed Le revealing the cards to the man.
Gregory Frizzell, the US chief district judge, will sentence Le on May 15. William Lunn, legal representative of Le and Cozzoni, said that the judge could give him a probation term according to certain federal guidelines.
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Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Blackjack owes a lot of its popularity to the fact that it comes in several variants, some of which are in favor of players and some in favor of the house. One of the most interesting and unique variants of blackjack is the Rummy game that is played in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica, a small country in Central America, has around 50 land casinos; however, playing blackjack is illegal in the country. The casinos, therefore, have found a way round this problem by introducing a variant called Rummy, which bears a striking resemblance to blackjack. The rules of Costa Rican Rummy require players to stand on soft 17, which increase the players’ chances of winning. The rules also allow players to double on any card combination, even after splitting a card pair, which is very player friendly indeed.
Costa Rican Rummy also includes some rules followed in certain poker variants. For instance, the casino pays five to one if players get blackjack with three Seven cards. They get paid three to one if they get a Three of a Kind combination. These rules make Costa Rican Rummy an exciting blend of poker and blackjack. The only downside is that players win even money if they get blackjack.
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Friday, May 2nd, 2014
Several celebrities are fond of playing blackjack, and here are some of them.
P. Daddy, Puff Daddy, Papa Diddy, Diddy, or anything else he might be called loves life and playing blackjack. He doesn’t feel it is out of the ordinary to spend millions on celebrating his birthday or renting a yacht for $400k per week. Diddy is devoted to playing the game of poker. Reportedly, he had requested for a blackjack table to be placed in his dressing room during an MTV Music Awards ceremony so that he could play the game with his friends.
Paris Hilton is also frequently seen playing blackjack at the casinos of Las Vegas. Two months back, she won an impressive amount of $50,000 playing blackjack after receiving $100,000 for being the DJ at a nightclub in Atlantic City.
Prince Harry, another fan of blackjack, once played blackjack at Las Vegas while a large crowd looked on. He later said that he enjoyed the free drinks served to him at the casino. Shortly thereafter, he lost $300 playing blackjack.
Ben Affleck, the Oscar-winning movie star, loves playing high-stakes casino games, and not many people know it. In 2001, he won $800,000 playing blackjack at the Hard Rock Hotel.
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Saturday, April 19th, 2014
Blackjack players are required to know a number of hand signals while playing blackjack in land casinos as they make it easy for dealers to track their actions.
Players who want to hit must tap their index fingers and point at their cards while saying the word “hit.” Players should remember to tap their fingers only once as tapping them too many times might confuse dealers. If players want to stand, they only have to wave their hands over the cards to communicate to the dealer that they do not need any more cards.
If players feel like doubling down, they can simply request the dealer to deal them an extra card. Alternatively, they can keep some more chips near their original bets and the dealer will come to know that they have doubled down. Some players drop each chip down one by one till they have matched their original bets. Players who want to split make an action as if they are about to cut something with a pair of scissors.
Some casinos allow players who have got an unfavorable hand to surrender and get back half their bet amounts. To show dealers that they are about to surrender, players can move their fingers in a left-to-right direction.
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Saturday, April 12th, 2014
Terry Watanabe’s gambling debts of $127 million is a clear indicator of how a blackjack player’s life can get ruined if he or she makes the wrong decisions.
All gamblers are aware of the Terry Watanabe case, about how he ran into a huge debt because of his addiction to gambling. The American entrepreneur ended up losing $127 million at the Harrah-owned Rio Casino and Caesars Palace in just one year. The gambling company has sued him for refusing to return the gambling loan of $14.7 million it had extended to him. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Watanabe could get up to 28 years in jail if the judge rules in favor of the casinos.
One wonders how Watanabe could lose so much money playing a skill-based game. Such a thing could happen to Watanabe because he was not only addicted to gambling, but also to alcohol. A Caesars Palace security guard had told The New York Daily News that he had never seen Watanabe arrive at the casino sober. Watanabe also made the mistake of thinking that a winning streak should follow a losing streak, owing to which he bet outrageously huge sums of money on what he felt to be a winning hand.
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