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Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

Blackjack Players' Moral Standards Vary Widely

9 September 2005

Last month we discussed some ways I'd seen blackjack players receive extra money through dealers' mistakes. Asking your opinions on the moral issue of keeping that money brought a downpour of e-mails. Here are condensed versions of some interesting responses.

* * *

I was in a situation at the craps table where I was playing the "don't" and the point was 8. One die landed on "two" and the other was blocked from the stickman's view. One of the dealers called out "eight – point made". However, I clearly saw that the second die was a "five". I appealed to the other dealer who agreed that the dice had "sevened out". After conferring with the pit boss, they refunded my "don't" bet, but the "do" bettors all kept their payoffs even though many of them must have seen that it was indeed a "seven out". I believe that if the mistake didn't involve me, then I should have just kept quiet. That would've been a private matter between the casino and other players.

STB

* * *

You should only concern yourself with your own payouts in blackjack. It's not your job to concern yourself with other dealer and player errors. It is the casino's concern and not yours unless they have hired you as a quality control expert or other similar position. I understand your concern and the feeling you get from being helpful. You can get the same or better feeling by not criticizing condemning or complaining.

Ron

* * *

As a floorman, I was trained to assume that everyone will point out a mistake in favor of the house, but no one will point out an error in their own favor. However, if an honest player does self-report a mistake, I will thank that player for their honesty and may even be generous with their rating. If a player doesn't report a mistake and I don't see it, surveillance may catch it, call down to me, and now there is the uncomfortable situation of asking for that money several hands after the infraction. No one wants that embarrassing situation, so I do believe in honesty as the best policy. As for a mistake in another player's favor, I do not expect, nor encourage a different player to point it out. Players are "guests" and that is my job, not theirs. The resulting situation between two players can be explosive.

Tone

* * *

I was once paid on a losing hand and pointed it out to the dealer, who told me when that happens to just take the money and don't draw attention to her mistake. One time, though, a dealer paid me on a $50 bet that I had lost. I didn't say anything. Several hands later I lost my limit and got up to leave the table. The pit boss waited until that moment to tell the dealer that she had paid me when I lost. And they made me give the money back. I didn't feel it was right for them to put me in this position. I lost the money back to the casino so they were not out anything, but I feel guilty about it to this day. Next time I will stop the dealer.

Art

* * *

I've been playing too long to think even for a second about impropriety at the table. Yes, I have sat silently by, and have on occasion been burnt and inadvertently awarded too. While at the table I don't try to be a friend or saint towards anyone, I just try to take as much of the casino's money that I can, and whatever happens in between, remains between God and the player. So please try to stick to advice that helps us players win, and let us handle our own consciences. Good Luck!

Ricky

* * *

I heartily approve of what you did on both occasions – may your tribe increase! We should always do the honest thing as far as our own actions are concerned. Let others deal with their consciences, unless their dishonesty will affect the good of all. If I were to see a man climbing up my neighbor's porch, I will surely call the police! But if I see him picking up a $100 bill on a public sidewalk, I would just keep silent. There might be painful consequences if I should call his attention to his not trying to find the owner -- like a black-eye or worse.

Ed

* * *

A couple of years ago, my husband was given $1500 in error as opposed to $150 when the dealer confused the chips. He initially cashed in the chips, but as the day went on, his conscious got the better of him and he contacted the casino manager to "fess up." The manager was shocked, as no one had ever come back to say they had been paid too much. After reviewing the tapes, he came back to us admitting that the cameras don't pick up that type of error. Needless to say, he allowed my husband to give the money back to the table and comped us dinner, our previous gift shop expenditures and picked up 2 nights. After coming home, all of our friends said we were nuts but all thought it was a good story - one for the good guys.

Paula

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey