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Most casinos enforce maximum betting limit

August 3rd, 2012 · No Comments · Blackjack News

by MARK PILARSKI

QUESTION:
Let’s say you get on a once-in-a-lifetime winning streak. Will the casino allow you to start betting more than the highest table maximum in the casino? — Joe T.

ANSWER: Most, Joe, probably will not, principally because two possible scenarios threaten the casino. The guy who comes in and starts doubling his initial $25 wager, wins 15 hands in a row and walks out a millionaire, or a player who has too much capital. The latter happened in Las Vegas when late Australian billionaire Kerry Packer beat the MGM out of $26 million, most of it while playing blackjack. The casino finally barred him, not because he was a card counter, but because he was more capitalized than the casino.

A lucky streak by some regular guy, or a player with more financial resources than the house, puts the casino in jeopardy of a serious whooping. There are exceptions to the rule, however, one of which I read about just last week.

A gentleman from Hawaii had this dream of home ownership, and he figured the quickest way to raise the needed capital was one spin at the roulette wheel in Las Vegas. He shopped around by calling eight different casinos while trying to place the bet. They all said $20,000 was the maximum on a single wager — except one. Bring it on, Binion’s said, so with $66,200 riding on even — drum roll, please — winner EIGHT!

Terry Caudill, owner of Binion’s and the Four Queens Hotel & Casino, later said: "We are in the gambling business; this is what we do. I consider these kinds of requests on a case-by-case basis." Good for Caudill, great for the player, but let me be very clear: I’m not advocating this kind of money-management technique.

One more thing: I mentioned someone who could double up an initial winning wager, then streak his way to owning the casino. Far too many players also believe this system, the Martingale system, is foolproof when they’re losing because they have to win eventually. The three problems with this money management system are: 1) you do not have an inexhaustible bankroll, 2) the casino owns the bank and sets the rules — like the table limit, and 3) your hourly wage, if you win, could be something like $0.01.

Allow me to show you the fatal flaw with this form of wagering. You bet $25 and lose, then $50 to recoup that loss. Then $100, $200, $400, $800, $1,600, $3,200, and finally $6,400. You have just invested $12,700 to get your $25 back.

As for those table limits, on a $25 game, a string of 10 loses in a row, and your next bet would butt up against a 10K table limit. But you have already been wiped out in less than three minutes, so we might as well focus on the positive. Some pit boss will probably let you squeeze a $3.99 steak-and-eggs breakfast out of him.

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