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Table Games My experience with free bet blackjack at MGM

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by seviay, Sep 25, 2014.

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  1. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    Having never played the game before, I decided to try the game when the table was empty on a Sunday afternoon, so I could play unrated for $10 and just get a feel for it. My brief anecdotal experience left me feeling like I had very little interest in playing again. Being a traditional BJ player, I like the card rushes when you can just get on a ridiculous run. Naturally, the numbers bear out that the "dealer push 22" will make play incredibly choppy, and that certainly was the case with me as well. I could just never get a feel for the shoe, nor did I ever feel like I got in a groove. Just lots of chop, chop, chop.

    Here's what made me want to scream: on the felt, it says insurance pays 2-to-1. On a dealer ace, she offered the table insurance, but she did not offer even money to my friend who had an A showing. I doubt he would have taken it, because that's silly, but I pointed this out to the dealer, and she said "oh, no, you can't take even money." I said but you just offered insurance to everyone; it's essentially the same thing. Since I didn't care about putting in many hours at the game, I didn't want to raise too much of a fuss, but I was incredulous. What did I miss? I can't imagine I was wrong in this situation, but I was shocked by the dealer's lack of understanding of the game she was dealing...

    Anyone else have any weird experience like this with FBBJ? I know in BJ switch, you can't take insurance on the Ace, nor can you take it if the game only pays 6:5, but this was a 3:2 table.
     
  2. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Dealer is stupid about the "even money" thing.

    Game is much more fun when you get lots of hard 9-11s. Dealers not making 22s is a a big deal too.
     
  3. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    I pointed out "it says it on the felt that you can insure, so why can't you insure an Ace by taking even money?" She didn't have a response other than it would be "an unfair advantage to the player since the dealer pushes on 22" which is one of the more illogical responses I could think of. I would like to think she was just confused about the rules of bj switch vs. fbbj, but maybe she was just stupid.

    BTW, I don't plan on writing a trip report but I'll probably PM you some details. I ended up losing probably 150 at Whiskey Down playing DDB at the quarter level despite my second hand of the trip holdings 4 4 x x x and having it fill as 4Q444 for a quick $100. We got a ton of play out of it, and my buddy managed to win probably $200 while playing. He was pulling quads out of his ass left and right, plus a dealt straight flush.

    We both kicked variance in the mouth this weekend on regular blackjack, ending up between $1100-1600 each, despite playing 21 hours at an average bet of $75-80. Winning!
     
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Hell, MGM doesn't have BJ switch too do they? In Free Bet, I thought BJ automatically got paid 3:2 immediately, regardless of the 22 rule. If that is the case, then her argument is no good. But if for some reason BJ wouldn't get paid 3:2 immediately, then push 22 would matter. But I agree with you...I think she's confused at the minimum.

    And whatever other details you want to share, I'm all ears. I don't blame you for not writing a novel like me. My TR was literally 10,000 words! LOL I probably should have edited a bit, but a part of it was meant to be a "personal recap". Glad you did well at blackjack overall!
     
  5. DiamondJim21

    DiamondJim21 Tourist

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    I believe you are totally right and the dealer was just wrong. Taking even money on an ace and taking insurance is the same thing.
     
  6. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    MGM does have 1 table of BJ Switch that I saw, open at all times. It was sort of in that area between whiskey down and the cage. BJ does get paid immediately, unless the dealer has a 10 or A, in which case they peek and/or offer insurance. If she offered insurance to the non-A hands, she should also offer it to the A, which is the same as the A taking even money, so yeah...confused or ignorant.
    I could never write a trip report because it would basically read "Jesus, so much whiskey...so much blackjack...and not much else" haha. I almost never take pictures except if I hit something decent on video poker or have some good chip porn.
    The first night was nuts...was down $900 and drunk / on tilt, and ended up heads up with the dealer and made probably $3,000 in one shoe. It was unreal, capped off by drawing a BJ on a $300 bet. If I had been really aggressively pressing, it could have been an $8-10k shoe probably, but I didn't want to piss back everything I had just made back.
    The second night was less successful, and I think I gave back about $1100...just could never get anything going at any of the tables I tried.
    The third night I felt a little hesitant about even gambling much, but the degenerate drunk in me gave in to temptation. After drinking 3 nice drinks and losing $100 at whiskey down, we found a $15 table and just chopped for a while. I was really starting to be depressed b/c I lost pretty much every double and other marginal hand that makes the difference in winning or losing. I burned through a $500 marker and my buddy slid me $100 to see if I could claw back. I chopped on that for a while, finally down to my last $50 before going on another unbelievable run that ended in me +1475 at the table. We were high fiving and tipping the dealer and waitress, and the pit boss was making jokes with us, so everyone was happy.
    We actually ended up staying up late enough to go to the spa that morning at around 6:30 and steam out some of the toxins before passing out around 8AM to sleep a few winks before our flight back home. I've never been on a trip where no one was down, let alone where everyone more than paid for their trip with their gambling.
    I had a number of issues with my play not showing up in their system, but I don't feel like going on that rant just yet...maybe another day
     
  7. sindustry

    sindustry VIP Whale

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    I bet the dealer was just confused as well. I think FBBJ is practically brand new at MGM Grand, so the dealers there may not have a lot of table time on it. No excuse though, as they should be qualified for the game before dealing it. I know when I was there in early August, FBBJ was not on the floor yet.
     
  8. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    This happened to me a regular 3:2 BJ table a few years ago...dealer said "no even money - you have to place the insurance bet".
    I asked the pit-critter about it & he told me that this was due to several 6:5 tables in the casino, and dealers had been screwing up at them, allowing even money on player blackjacks vs. dealer Ace. So, they changed their rule to require the insurance bet at every BJ table - even the 3:2 tables, as the dealers all rotated tables - sometimes dealing 6:5, sometimes 3:2.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  9. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Well there ya go. You said you were not impressed with Free Bet, but right here in this sentence, it shows off the appeal of the game to me. There is so much less volatility in the game. How often have we all said, "if I had only won those splits and doubles!"
     
  10. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    It seems from trip reports the game is still new to many dealers as there are reported misconceptions for player losing when in fact they have a winning hand or not being paid correctly. I always had the understanding a dealer practiced and practiced on a game to be deemed proficient in the application of the rules as well as some level of competency in dealing the cards. It appears in this game that may have not been thought out as clearly as assumed.
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
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  11. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    I would still rather pay for my splits and doubles than grind out hands only to push on a dealer 22. It's so frustrating! :rolleyes2:
     
  12. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    That was my assumption as well...clearly we are mistaken. This dealer was very sharp otherwise, so it wasn't just a case of a tired or "slow" dealer
     
  13. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I have had two different dealers, both at Golden Gate, say they don't like dealing it. They come from regular blackjack tables and find it hard to get in to the groove of Free Bet.
     
  14. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    This makes sense, but also a pointless chip moving exercise for 3:2 tables.

    Dealers at Mohegan Sun hated dealing it so much earlier this year, they helped kill the game. It was a S17 game too! I can see dealers struggling from switching from regular BJ to free bet and back.

    And impressive your whole party won seviay! That definitely doesn't happen nearly enough!
     
  15. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Nothing but carnival games... a way for the Casino to increase revenue. But as long as people play these carnival games the casinos will keep putting them on the floor.

    Free Bet Blackjack: The house edge under the standard rules is 1.02%.
     
  16. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    Man, and the way I witnessed people playing this game, their HA is going to be way higher than 1.02%. In the short time at the table, I witnessed multiple times people who didn't pay to double their soft A-X against dealer 5 or 6, plus another woman who refused to free split her 8s against dealer 10 because she "hate splitting 8s" /facepalm
    Because it is a carnival game, I would probably still play it at the $10 level but I wouldn't even want to be rated for my play. If I could play with 1 of my buddies and each play 2 hands, it might be decent, but I didn't enjoy the people I played with...and it is still way too choppy and frustrating for me to commit major money to.
     
  17. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Oh yeah the HA can go much higher depending upon the rules, 1.02% is just what the Wizard of Odds says with standard rules, add a few restrictions and the HA goes way up.
     
  18. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    I think he mostly meant the house edge can also go way up when you play the game wrong. Mainly not taking all "free" doubles and "free" splits like that lady didn't do with 8s. If you never would take any of those, then the game would be closer to and 8% house edge. The edge would look like this: 0.7% (normal BJ with these rules) plus 6.91% (push 22 rule). I assume dealers would strongly suggest to take the 10 and 11 free doubles at least...so you have to be a real idiot to experience that much house edge in practice.

    The real money doubling of soft hands vs. 5 and 6 in that game isn't nearly as big of a deal though. You're supposed to hit soft 12-15 always regardless of upcard. The push 22 rule actually lowers the value of doubling soft hands in general.
     
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