It’s been a little while now since I dealt blackjack in Vegas – not very long, but long enough that I’m starting to miss it. I certainly don’t miss the abuse that I took from some of my customers, or the way my clothes smelled by the time I got home in the very early morning. But I do miss people in general. I feel like I’m always behind a computer these days.
So I finally caved in and decided to start a home game. The inaugural Tyler Terrance Invitational Blackjack Tournament was held last week at my palatial estate, and I’m very happy to report that it was a success. We’ll be having another one next month, and if that goes well enough, there will be another one after that. It’s amazing how much fun you can have when you choose the people you spend time with. And supply them with ample beverages.
The French Deck
This particular game featured five other players, and myself, all of us veterans of the casino business. We were playing for small enough stakes so that everyone was comfortable breaking out all those “advantage plays” that you can’t get away with at proper casinos anymore. My friend Tony was more than happy to show us how he was shuffle tracking – we were only using two decks, from an old Canasta set that my grandmother gave me.
I can’t blame the casinos for doing what they can (within reason) to limit advantage play, but at the same time, I’m more sympathetic toward the players. Edge sorting? That’s what the casino gets for not having a clean deck. I still can’t believe Phil Ivey got nailed for edge sorting at Crockfords.
Turn, Turn, Turn
If you’re thinking about hosting a home game of blackjack, you’ll probably have to do it a little differently than we did. Nobody at our game was concerned about getting cheated; again, we were playing for small stakes, and everyone knew each other and their tricks anyway. Unless you’re in the same situation, you’ll need to make sure everyone understands and sticks to the rules – some of which you’ll be in charge of. For example, how many hands will each player deal before the next guy gets his turn? The dealer always has the advantage, so these things need to be ironed out and kept track of.
Then there’s all the banking you have to do. People are going to buy chips, then they’ll want to cash them in at the end of the night or whenever they leave. Your guests will have to arrive with enough cash on hand to play. And if you’re not careful, you might get people trying to cheat the system. No problem; like I said, it’s fun when you choose the right people for your home game. Choose wisely.