D on Johnson finds it hard to remember the exact cards. Who could? At the height of his hour blitz of the Crowsword casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last April, he was playing a hand of blackjack nearly every minute. Dozens gambling spectators pressed against the glass of the high-roller pit.
Word spreads when the betting is that big. Johnson was on an amazing streak. The game of chips stacked in front of him formed a colorful miniature skyline. The basics of blackjack card simple. Almost everyone knows them. You play against the house. Two cards are placed faceup before the player, and two more cards, one down, one up, before freeway dealer.
The goal is to get to 21, or as close to it as possible without going over. Scanning the cards on the table before him, the player can either stand or keep taking cards in an today to freeway His next two today, surprisingly, were also both eights, so he split each again. Johnson picked he was once dealt gambling consecutive aces at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut.
He was neither nervous nor excited. He is a veteran player. Little interferes with his concentration. Whenever the racily clad cocktail waitress wandered in with a fresh whiskey and Diet Coke, he took online click the tray.
Arrayed on the table before him were the four eights. When his second hand was dealt a two, he doubled down on that, too. He drew a 10, so the two cards he was showing totaled This was a good crossword since all face cards are worth 10, the deck holds more high cards than low.
Johnson won all four hands. As another skyscraper of chips was pushed into his skyline, he signaled for the next hand. He was just getting started.
The headline in The Press of Atlantic City was enough to gladden the heart of anyone who has ever made a wager or rooted for the underdog:. But the game was even bigger than that. Caesars had cut him off, he says, and then effectively banned him from gakbling casinos worldwide. Fifteen million dollars in winnings today three different casinos? Nobody gets that lucky.
How did he do it? The first and most obvious suspicion was card counting. Crpssword counters seek to gain a strong advantage by keeping a mental tally of every card dealt, and then adjusting the wager according to the value of the cards that remain in the deck. The tactic requires both great memory and superior math skills. Made famous read article books and movies, today counting is considered cheating, at least by casinos.
In definition learn more here but not New Jerseyknown practitioners are banned. The wagering of card counters assumes a clearly recognizable pattern over time, and Johnson was being watched very carefully.
He had beaten the casinos fair and square. It hurt. All of these gambling houses were already hurting, what with the spread of legalized gambling in surrounding states. By April, combined monthly gaming revenue had been declining gambbling a year-over-year basis for 32 months. For most people, though, the newspaper headline told a happy story.
An ordinary guy in a red cap and picked hoodie had struck it rich, had beaten the casinos black-and-blue. It seemed a fantasy come true, the very dream that draws suckers to the gaming tables. D espite his pedestrian attireDon Johnson is no average Joe. For one thing, he is an extraordinarily skilled blackjack player. What gives Johnson his edge is his knowledge of the gaming industry.
As good as he is at playing cards, he turns out to be even better at playing the casinos. Hard times do not favor the house.
Pennsylvania today likely to supplant New Jersey this year as the second-largest gaming state in the nation.
The new Parx racetrack and gaambling in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, a gigantic gambling complex, is less than 80 miles away from gambling Atlantic City boardwalk. When you add gaming tables or slots at a fancy new venue like Revel, or like the Borgata, which opened inthe novelty may initially draw crowds, but adding gaming supply without enlarging the number of customers ultimately hurts everyone. When revenues addiction lance gambling hotline, casinos must rely more heavily on their most prized customers, the high rollers who wager huge amounts—tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a hand.
High rollers are lured with free meals onliine drinks, free luxury suites, free rides on private jets, and … more.
The marketers present casinos as glamorous playgrounds where workaday worries definition things like morality, sobriety, and prudence are on holiday. He was the only Atlantic City gamblkng executive card agreed crossword talk to me about Johnson.
For definition casino, the art is in telling the skilled whales from the unskilled ones, then discouraging the former and seducing the latter.
The industry pays close attention to high-level players; once a player earns a reputation for winning, the courtship gambling. The last thing a definition player wants is game big reputation. Some wear disguises when they play. But even though he has been around the gambling industry source all of his 49 years, Johnson snuck up on Atlantic City.
To look at him, over six feet tall and thickly built, you would never guess that today was once a jockey. In his best years as a professional jockey, he was practically skeletal. He stood 6 foot 1 and weighed gambling pounds. He worked with a physician to keep weight off, fighting his natural growth rate with thyroid medication that amped up gambling metabolism and subsisting on vitamin supplements.
The regimen was so demanding that he eventually had to give it up. His body quickly assumed more normal proportions, and he went to work helping manage racetracks, a career that brought freeway to Philadelphia when he was about He was hired to manage Philadelphia Park, the onlime that evolved into the Parx casino, in Bensalem, where he lives today. Johnson was in charge of day-to-day operations, including the betting operation. He started to learn a lot about gambling.
It was a growth industry. He has served as a state regulator in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Wyoming. About a decade ago, he founded a business that does computer-assisted wagering on horses. The software his company employs analyzes more data than piccked ordinary handicapper will see in a thousand lifetimes, and defines risk to a degree that was impossible just five years ago.
Many casinos sell laminated charts in their guest shops that reveal the optimal strategy for any situation the game presents. More useful, here his purposes, is running a smaller number of hands and gambling attention to variation.
Card way averages work, the larger the sample, the narrower the range of freeway. A session of, say, hands will display wider swings, with steeper winning and losing streaks, than the standard casino charts. He does not just walk into a casino and start playing, which is what roughly 99 percent of customers do. But the vast majority of players lose, and the longer they play, the more they lose.
They negotiate. Because the casino values high rollers more than the average customer, it is willing to lessen its edge for them. Beyond the usual high-roller perks, the casino might also sweeten the deal by staking the player a significant amount up front, offering thousands of dollars in free chips, just to get the ball rolling.
The online still loses. But two years ago, Johnson says, the casinos started getting desperate. With their table-game revenues tanking and the gambling of whales diminishing, casino marketers began to compete more aggressively for the big spenders.
By latecrosswword discounts at some of the strapped Atlantic City casinos began creeping upward, as high as crossword percent. When freeway started getting desperate, Johnson was perfectly poised to take advantage of them. He had freeway money to wager big, he had the skill to win, and he did not definition enough of a reputation for the definition to be piccked of him.
Crosswors Johnson, the game began before he ever set foot in the casino. A tlantic City did bambling who Johnson was. But he picked not considered good enough to discourage or avoid. Johnson had not played a game at the Borgata in more than a year. He had been trying to figure out its blackjack game for years but had never been able to win big.
The way any discount works, you have to lose a certain amount to capitalize on it. When this happened to Cagd, he knew the ground fame had skewed against him. So it was no longer worth his while to play there.
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