Blackjack Odds: Does the Dealer Always Have a 10 in the Hole?

The value of the dealer’s hole card is very important in the game of blackjack. If players can only accurately predict the value of this card, then they’ll have a 10 percent advantage over the dealer on every hand. The truth is, there are no accurate means of telling what the value of the hole card is, and the sad part is that many blackjack players assume that the dealer’s hole card has a 10 value and will base their strategies on this belief.

This is one of the biggest myths in blackjack that will often lead to players losing all their money. When a dealer has an up card showing a value of 4, many players will automatically assume that there is a 10 in the hole and that the dealer has a total of 14. But players have no way of knowing or anticipating what the dealer has which is anything from 5 to 15. And assuming what the dealer has is a foolish strategy that will end up with you losing all your money.

The House Edge in Blackjack

One of the things that make blackjack an exciting game among casino players is its relatively low percentage of games that most likely will be won by the house, or what is more commonly referred to as the house edge. This advantage stems from the fact that all player should act first on their hand before the dealer acts on his. Players can bust first, or go over 21, and lose their bet and will continue to do so even if the dealer busts his hand later.

To a player who diligently applies basic blackjack strategy, this house edge can be as little as 0.18 to 0.5 percent on every hand, but this value can zoom up to 2 percent, or losing four times more, if little mental strategy is applied. This is a poor strategy and players will most likely just throw away all their money.

Casinos would naturally want to increase their house edge and would do this by offering side bets called “insurance” or “even money”, particularly in cases where the dealer’s up card is an ace. Insurance is offered to players as a wager on whether the dealer has a “natural” or a 10-valued card in the hole. This will increase the house edge to an even higher 6 percent advantage.

However, this house edge can continue to go even higher if the player will always assume that the dealer has a 10 in the hole. Such assume-a-ten strategies will work against the player and will give the house an advantage as high as 10.03 percent – and lose more hands in the game as well as their money.

Should You Be Worried About the Dealer Getting a 10 in the Hole?

This myth have probably stemmed from the fact that there are 4 times more card in a deck with a value of ten than any other cards. However, cards that have 10-values only account for 30% of the total number of cards, which in statistical terms is a 3:7 chance that the dealer actually has a 10 in the hole. There is a 70% chance, a much bigger value, that the dealer will have other cards not valued as 10 in the hole.

Players should have this understanding and get past the belief that there is always a 10 in the hole. Doing so would make the player start playing wisely and more strategically and increase their chances of winning their hand than ever before. Basic strategies are based on proven mathematical principles and have been simulated in computer programs to work, as well as proven effective during real-life black jack games.

However, only a small percentage of blackjack players will heed this advice and commit to studying basic blackjack strategies and avoid throwing away their money on each hand. Playing wisely and using basic blackjack strategies will reduce the house edge to the minimal level as compared to scenarios where players always assume that the hole card has a value of 10.

In summary, the dealer does not always have a 10 in the hole and there is a greater mathematical probability that the hole card has a value other than 10. Assuming that the dealers always have a 10 card is one of the worst strategies a blackjack player can make, preventing them from making wise judgment based on proven basic strategies – and lose all their money in the long run.

Omaha Poker: Here’s Where You Get Four Hole Cards Instead of Two

If you’re a poker player you undoubtedly know that Texas Holdem is the number one choice for players at poker room tournaments and cash games. The game is so popular that even James Bond favored it over his preferential game of Baccarat in the 2006 remake of the 1967 movie, Casino Royal..

The lesser known game of Omaha Poker is also offered at most major poker rooms. One version is called Pot Limit Omaha There are two major differences between Pot Limit and No limit Holdem:

· Players are dealt four hole cards instead of two

· Players may only raise to the size of the pot

All the other action is the same. There are five community up cards dealt by the house dealer between betting rounds: three called the flop, one called the turn and one more called the river.

Before play, the dealer places a white disc called the button in front of the player immediately to her left. The button represents a theoretical dealer and holds an advantage for the player because he is the last to act during a hand. The button moves one player to the left after each round.

The first player to the left of the button is called the small blind. The player to the left of the small blind is the big blind. Both players must put a pre-determined amount of money in the pot before any cards are dealt. The blinds also move one position to the left after each round. Their purpose is to incite action by ensuring an ample amount of money in the pot prior to play. The amounts increase after preset timed periods. Four cards are dealt clockwise face down to each player. The first player to the left of the big blind is under the gun and starts the action with one of three options:

o Muck, (fold) all four cards to stay out of the hand

o Call, by betting the amount of the big blind

o Raise, by betting twice the amount of the big blind.

Players may think that having four hole cards to play with may be more beneficial than two as in Texas Holdem but it’s quite the contrary because you can only use two of the cards together with three community cards from the board to make your best possible This makes the game very interesting. Here are some reasons why:

· The size of the pot grows quickly because the four hole cards allow for more drawing hands. Players often see the hands to the end of the betting rounds because the two card choice is not made until the final hand is played.

· In that the drawing hands are more frequent, opponents also have hands that they are more likely to bluff with.

· Double suited hands with high cards such as a Jack, King of spades and an Ace, Queen of diamonds are favorites due to the flush possibilities.

· Unfavorable hands at pre-flop can include three of a kind and two pair because only two of the cards can be used in the final round.

Another version of Omaha Poker is called Hi-LO Omaha, which is played exactly the same as Pot Limit except the pot is divided between the winners with the highest ranking hand and the lowest ranking hand. A winning low ranking hand cannot contain any pair or a card higher than an eight. Also, a straight with ace through five can be used to win a high or low hand.

Next time you’re in the casino poker room you may want to give Omaha a try.

Good Luck!