All blackjack dealers who work in the casino are required to wear a uniform. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is to give the casino a classy appearance. Another reason is so that dealers are easily identified by the Eye in the Sky security cameras.
Sometimes a dealer’s uniform can cause problems. One of our Counting Edge visitors was playing blackjack when a dealer’s uniform malfunction turned into a big payday for most of the players at the table.
The blackjack table was full that night with patrons waiting for a seat. The mood at the table was jovial. Most of the players seemed to be winning and quite a few were well on their way to being intoxicated. The female dealer began to deal another round of cards and when the dealing was complete she had a 10 showing. Per the rules of blackjack, the dealer was obliged to peek at her hole card to see if she had a blackjack.
She cupped her hands over her cards and glanced at the hole card. She did not have a blackjack and began to draw her hands back to allow the first player at the table the chance to act on their hand. As she did so, the large cuff of her uniform shirt hooked her two cards and flipped them over in such a way that her hole card was now on top for all of the players to see. The 10 was now on the bottom. The cards had flipped over perfectly. The hole card was a 6. Anyone watching now knew exactly what the dealer had.
The dealer immediately saw what had happened and quickly moved the game along, hoping that no one at the table had noticed. Some of them did not, but four of the players at the table did see it and knew she had a 16. Each of them now had a chance to act on their hand.
The first player had been dealt a J-K for a total of 20. Under all circumstances this is a hand that calls for the player to stand. Knowing the dealer had a 16, the player chose to split them instead and received an 8 on one and a 9 on the other for totals of 18 and 19 respectively.
The next player who saw the mistake had A-7 for a soft 18. Once again, this is normally a standing hand. The player doubled down and received another 7 for a total of 15.
The third player had a blackjack and was paid immediately at 3-2.
The fourth player was seated in Third Base, the last seat at the blackjack table. This player stood to benefit the most from the dealer’s mistake. He had a pair of 8’s and split them. On one 8 he received a 3 for an 11 and doubled down, getting a 4 for a 15. On the other 8 he received another 8 and split them again. Both of these 8’s received a 10 and the player stood on both.
The four players all smiled at one another and waited for the dealer to turn over the 16. She did and was forced to hit her hand. The players had celebrated too soon. The card was a 5, giving the dealer a 21. All four players lost their bets.
This story goes to show that nothing is ever a sure thing at the blackjack table.
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