My wife and I visited South Lake Tahoe for the first time last week. The lake and surrounding mountains were beautiful. Blackjack in nearby Stateline, Nevada was not as beautiful. Here is a summary of some strange things that I witnessed during the trip:
– Most games at Harrah’s, Harvey’s and the Montbleau casino had horrible rules…double-down on 10 or 11 only, blackjack paid 6:5, and cut cards penetrated less than half the deck or shoe. On one game at the Montbleau, where bikinied girls danced above a party pit, the game paid EVEN MONEY on a blackjack. Atrocious.
– I watched a drunk college guy intentionally stay on an 8-3 against the dealer’s 8 to anger an equally drunk girl. He had been hitting on the girl for 30+ minutes with no luck. After she made an especially disparaging remark, the guy said, “I’m gonna stay on this hand just to piss you off!” It worked. The next card busted the girl; the card after that would’ve given her a 21 against the dealer’s upturned 18. The drunk girl and guy both lost on the hand. Chaos ensued. The girl slapped a drink into the guy’s lap and cursed to the high heavens. The guy stood up and offered many choice four-letter words of his own in return. Three security guards eventually settled the peace, but not until the girl landed a few blows onto the face and torso of the now-laughing college drunkard!
– An index play cost me $1000 in one hand. Basic blackjack strategy requires a hit on 15 against the dealer’s 10. However, I was playing two hands ($500 each) in a double-deck shoe that had a true count of +6. I stayed on the 15 (because of index play) and had a 20 on the other hand. The next card was a 6! If I had hit the 15, it would have been a beautiful 21. Instead, the dealer took the 6 and coupled it with his 5 down card for a total of 21. The card after the 6 would’ve busted him. I lost both hands instead of winning both. In the past ten years, index plays have saved/earned me countless dollars…not in Stateline, Nevada on May 27, 2012.