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Gaming Guru

 

Be The Dealer?

25 August 2002

Want to deal to blackjack players instead of trying to beat the house yourself?

Bethedealer.com and other similar sites like playanddeal.com allow you to do this. By playing against the house you accumulate "credit points", which allow you to deal against other players, if your bankroll can handle it.

When you're the house, you'll have a 2% edge over the average player, since detailed studies have determined this as the average disadvantage a typical player has against the house. The 1.5 rake the casino itself charges dealers to deal reduces that to 0.5%. To do this you have to play an equal amount as a player; using basic strategy you play at 0.5% disadvantage, which wipes out some but not all of the edge when you are the house. You would therefore expect to break-even if you bank the same amount as you wager.

Is this a waste of time then for the serious gambler?

No. While the players a dealer is matched with may be theoretically random, the casino can't force you to continue to play against a sharp player or a robot. If you disconnect and log on again later you will be matched up against someone else. So, theoretically, you could get quite a large advantage by only using up your credit points against weak players. Very poor players such as "never bust" or "mimic the dealer" blackjack players lose at the rate of 5% or more.

In addition, the rules concerning accidental disconnections favour the dealer over the player, because a dealer has no say over his hand and a disconnection during a hand makes no difference. However, a player who is disconnected loses control of his hitting/standing/splitting/decisions and has his hand played out automatically at an average disadvantage of >10%. This occurs quite often.

Whether this would give you an acceptable return on investment is debatable. Two problems I can see:

  1. The average online player is smarter than the average terrestrial player. Look at casinos that publish blackjack payout percentages. That makes sense really, you eliminate a lot of poor players who are not intelligent enough to be able to use a computer.
  2. The lesson from California is that banking games invariably get monopolized by well-bankrolled syndicates if any true profit potential exists.

Player-banked games on the net are intellectually interesting and may yield profitable opportunities for well-bankrolled players in the future as online banking systems develop. However, I am reserving judgement on these games for the time being.

John May
John May is one of the most feared gamblers in the world. He has developed "advantage play" techniques for many games that are considered unbeatable.

Books by John May:

> More Books By John May

John May
John May is one of the most feared gamblers in the world. He has developed "advantage play" techniques for many games that are considered unbeatable.

Books by John May:

> More Books By John May