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Casino Blackjack

In May I was back in Vegas for my usual annual week of fun and excitement. I saw some interesting new Blackjack games and bets being promoted by a few of the casinos. Casino blackjack is big business for the casino operators and they're doing quite a bit to ensure that it remains one of the most profitable games in their casinos. Below I've explained a few of the more interesting games / bets that I observed recently.

Three-Way Action
This is undoubtedly the coolest new thing that I saw while there. Basically it's Poker, War and Blackjack all on the same hand. The first bet is on War - dealer gives you one card face-up and deals his / her upcard. High card wins the war bet. Then you're both (you and the dealer) dealt a second card. From this you play the traditional blackjack. After this blackjack hand is decided, the dealer will then deal you the remaining cards for a five-card hand of poker. Payout tables are posted with all the possible win combinations so you might want to check it out the next time you're in the casino.

Shuffling Machines
More and more casinos are now using shuffling machines at the dealer table. Why? (1) Probably in an attempt to frustrate card counters and shuffle trackers and preserve the house's edge (2) So more hands can be dealt in a shorter space of time (hence more time for the house edge to operate in their favour). I saw it for myself and I played a lot more games in the space of an hour than I normally would if the cards were being dealt by hand. Shuffling machines I guess are here to stay, so now it's no wonder that some smaller casinos are countering the "machines" by promoting their "hand dealt casino blackjack".

Facial Recognition Technology
If you're a known cheat, trickster or professional blackjack scammer, WATCH IT; even the smaller casinos are tapping into the power of modern technology. As you play, smile for the camera in the sky because in many cases, the casinos are actually using facial recognition technology to compare your face with a database of "known cheats". And to top it off, they're sharing their database of photos so dont think that you can be immune to it by moving from casino to casino. Just a word of warning - I actually saw someone being "invited to leave a casino".

There were a few more things that were new to me but the three listed above were the most interesting. Again, remember if you arent going to be in the casino anytime soon, my own free blackjack game is right here for you to have some fast neat fun or simply to practice your strategy. Make sure you try it out.

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