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Lately I've been monitoring dealer hands pretty rigorously. Before I enter a game, I watch the dealer's hand and keep track of the outcome. How many 17s, 18s, 19s, 20s, 21s, and breaking hands. Before table entry, you pretty much need to do this in your head, but once you sit down, you can use chips to keep track of each outcome. The result is a kind of bar-chart that mathematicians call a "histogram".

If you pay attention to this, it will keep you out of bad games. I find that the rigors of doing this also keep me from getting bored during the table selection phase, which is more important than betting or card play.

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HI MD,

Last night, at my local Indian Casino in Ca., as I entered the high -limit BJ area, I was told by the pit boss NOT to bet tonight...no players were playing on the 5 shoe 25.00 to 500.00 BJ tables.

The dealers had cleaned-out the place.... What would you have done ? I went home. What are your sit-down action- point when you are charting the dealer hands from the far ?

Tks...

Jim

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Well, I do not play at Indian casinos. I have heard that there is sometimes blantant cheating, such as having extra 5s in the deck and that there is no gaming commission to keep them honest. Who knows.

As for table entry conditions, I just look for a decent dealer break ratio, and an even distribution of dealer made hands.

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Oh by the way, there are some other statistics that Ellis talks about in his "In Search Of" book that are very useful for determining if the game is over clumped. It is a really interesting idea actually, but I can't give it to you. Maybe Ellis will. He's been dishing out secrets lately, so maybe if you ask him real nicely...

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