21 Things You Never Knew About Blackjack

As the most famous card game in the world, Blackjack is played in over 140 countries (yup, we’re starting with the facts right away). Even people who know the game inside and out are sure to enjoy these little known facts about it’s origin, strategies and some of Blackjacks most famous players.

  1. The first written mention of the game was in a collection of short stories by Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote.”
  2. Blackjack originated in French casinos around the 1700’s – but back then it was known as “Vingt-et-Un” (French for “21”).
  3. After casinos learned players were marking cards with invisible ink (seen only with special sunglasses), discard trays were changed from clear to translucent red, hoping it would discourage cheating.
  4. Would you believe it if we told you Blackjack may owe a lot of its popularity to the French Revolution? The game only became popular after being banned in France and the US during the French Revolution. The ban only made people more curious about the game and want to play.
  5. The second best hand to have is 20 (while the worst hand to have is 16).
  6. Sorry players, but the odds of getting a natural 21 are 4.8% in a single deck.
  7. In 2001, at the Oracle Casino in Malta, a dealer broke the record for “longest time dealing Blackjack” with a time of 51 hours and 33 minutes.
  8. The largest blackjack table is located at the Viejas Casino in California and measures 2,226 feet. Only one hand of blackjack was ever played on the table and players had to use oversized cards and chips.
  9. The Blackjack Hall of Fame in Barona Casino, in San Diego, California offers every inductee a lifetime of complimentary rooms, food, and beverages, in exchange for the member’s agreement to never to play Blackjack on Barona’s tables.
  10. It may seem like men dominate the casino tables, but the first professional Blackjack player in America was a woman named Eleanore Dumont (also known as Madame Moustache).
  11. Typically, the more decks there are, the higher the house advantage becomes.
  12. The dealer also has an advantage by going last. The dealer usually wins 48% of the time, while a player wins 44% of the time.
  13. It takes at least 7 shuffles to fully randomize a deck.
  14. Stay out of a player’s way if they are “steaming.” This means they’ve had bad luck at the table and are betting erratically now.
  15. Blackjack is widely considered the most “player friendly game,” with an edge of 0.5% (with some claiming it can even be brought down to 0.4%).
  16. Blackjack tables have small mirrors in the table that let the dealer check the hole cards.
  17. The card dispenser is called a shoe because it resembled a woman’s high heeled shoe when it was first invented.
  18. The first Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM) launched in 2000. It was known as ‘The King’ device and became widely used as casino bosses tried to repel card counters.
  19. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of blackjack’s biggest fans, playing the game regularly after being exiled in Elba.
  20. Edward Thorp (also known as the Father of Card Counting) wrote Beat the Dealer, a book detailing the mathematical aspects of the game.
  21. Card counting gained mainstream popularity after the movie “21,” and while the technique is not technically illegal, British casinos have the right to refuse to let you play if they catch you counting cards.

These facts may not exactly make you better at the game itself, but they’re sure to make a great conversation starter the next time you’re at the tables.

Casinos by M&M is a casino & DJ party company serving the Tri-State New York area. We specialize in authentic casino parties and party supplies. Our charismatic, professional dealers and exciting casino action will make your next party one to remember. For more information about our services, visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST!

Silly & Surprising Blackjack Myths

Think you know everything about your favorite casino game? Think again! There are plenty of blackjack myths that have been around for centuries, and we’re here to take a look at some of the most popular.

laughing friends playing cards in casino

Myth: Having newbies at the table hinders your odds of winning big.
It’s this myth that keeps novice players from trying their luck at a casino table! Many people will blame other players for their loss if those players don’t play a deal how they feel it should have been played. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how other individuals play the game. Mathematically speaking, the cards of another have no effect on the cards that you hold or how you play them.

Myth: You should always avoid sitting in the last seat at a table.
This superstition says the last seat gets dealt the worst hand, but more importantly, holds the most responsibility. Similar to the novice myth, other players are more likely to get angry with the last seat player. “If he had only stayed and not hit, the dealer would have busted!” Unfortunately, this logic is flawed. As we said, mathematically speaking everyone has the same odds.

Myth: The cards have a plan — with the order that they appear in that is.
Many believe that once a game has started, players cannot join or leaves. They feel that it disrupts the “sacred order” of the cards and brings bad luck to other players. Like in the two myths above, we have to remember that blackjack is all about chance and equal opportunity. Sure, switching up the players will change the order of the cards, but that doesn’t change the odds!

In the game of blackjack you can’t blame others for their losses! At the end of the day, everyone has a fair shot and a fair crack at strategy. The only way to increase your odds is with practice — which is why we suggest booking a blackjack table for your next party or event from Casinos by M&M.

To learn how you can face the dealer with family and friends on your very own blackjack table, visit us online or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST.

A Beginners’ Guide to Blackjack

Blackjack is often one of the first table games that novice casino-goers will attempt — and for a good reason. Not only is it fairly simple to follow, but it also holds claim to having the best odds to beat the house on the entire casino floor. When playing blackjack, you have only one opponent, the dealer, but that’s not all. If you’re looking to hit the tables with the best chance of winning big, here are a few guidelines to follow.

Close up of Poker Player's Hands

Know the basics.
Everyone, including the dealer, is dealt two cards. All cards remain face up on the table, except one of the dealer’s cards, known as the hole card. Your goal is to get as close to 21 as possible without busting. If you hit 21, you win automatically, if you stand and your number is lower than 21, but also lower than the dealer’s, you lose.

Follow the “rules.”
There are several strategic rules that blackjack players are encouraged to following, including:

  • When your hand is 12-16 and the dealer has 2-6, always stand.
  • When your hand is 12-16 and the dealer has 7-Ace, always hit.
  • If you’re ever dealt two aces or two eights, always split them into separate bets.
  • Dealt 11? Double down if the dealer has 2-10.
  • Always hit or double down when your hand is Ace-6.

Skip the insurance.
Most times in life, opting for insurance is a good thing, but not when it comes to blackjack! In this case, insurance refers to a side-bet that a player is allowed to make when the dealer is showing an Ace. Basically, as the player you’re allowed to place an independent bet on whether or not the dealer has blackjack. However, if your not a card-counting pro, skip the insurance because the house has about a 6% advantage over the player in this type of bet.

Sit strategically.
If you’re new to the game, sit further down the line instead of the first seat. This will give you longer to mull over your decision to hit or stand by the time the dealer gets to your turn.

What tips do you have for novice blackjack players? We’d love to hear all about them on our Facebook page, so our dealers can share your advice with future players at Casinos by M&M casino parties!

For more information about how we can help you throw a casino party or fundraiser of your own, visit us online or call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST and speak with one of our owners today.

Memorable Moments in Playing Card History

The first form of playing cards was first introduced many centuries ago in China, during the Tang Dynasty. Chinese gamblers used symbols of currency to differentiate between the suits. By the 14th century, playing cards were introduced to the Europeans, through the Middle East, where they began their journey to become the card decks we all know and love today.

Small straight in playing cards

1371 & 1377: As far as documented evidence goes, here’s where it can be traced back to. It was in Spain, in a Catalan rhyming dictionary that playing card were first officially noted. Just a few years later, the first detailed description of playing cards was documented as well, by John of Rheinfelden, a Swiss monk.

1380: Not long after, cards began to boom all over Europe! People were abuzz from Florence and Brabant, to Paris and Barcelona, all looking to get their hands on a deck. Everyone wanted to get in on the action.

1440: Johann Gutenberg’s printing press was not just profitable for the press. It allowed playing cards to be mass-printed and produced, instead of hand painted as they had been previously.

1480: Playing cards had solidified their suits. While different from the suits we have today, cards of this era were adorned with hearts, bells, leaves and acorns — suits that had been adopted from the Germans.

Late 1400s: Things turned around for the ace, which was previously regarded as a low card. It began to adopt a special significance, encouraging players to regard it as the highest in the deck instead.

Early 1500s: Rouen, a card-making company of that time, began illustrating cards with the familiar king, queen and jack that we still use today.

1674: Charles Cotton published the first unofficial manual for playing cards, called Compleat Gamester. His aim was to lay down the law and hammer down distinct rules for the most popular card and dice games of his time.

1711: For the first time, playing cards became regarded as a taxable good.

1793: Following the French revolution, authorities banned the use of royal figureheads on playing cards. But not for long! Twelve years later, Napoleon appeared, and overruled the illustration ban.

1834: Poker appeared on a river steamer in Mississippi! It was here that the first documented game was said to have been played.

Mid 1800s: Card name abbreviations started appearing in the corners of cards. It’s said that this was around the time that eha “knave” became the “jack” — so it didn’t overlap the K abbreviation for the king. The famous joker card also began to circulate.

1935: A fifth, green suit is introduced and named the “crowns.” As you can guess, this didn’t take well, and was abandoned shortly after.

Today, millions of people play cards around the world, and it’s a good thing too! If playing cards had not been such a successful invention, what would we have done?!

Casinos by M&M is a casino & DJ party company serving the Tri-State New York area. We specialize in authentic casino parties and party supplies. Our charismatic, professional dealers and exciting casino action will make your next party one to remember. For more information about our services, click here to visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST!

How to Choose A Reputable Online Casino

Virtual game play is the next best thing to hitting the casinos in real life or at a casino party. Not only is it a great way to pass the time, but it can help you practice your betting and bluffing skills as well. But before you press your luck at the first virtual casino you come across, you’ll want to take the following into account to ensure you’re selecting the right one.

Virtual casino. Online gambling. Laptop with dice and chips.

What is their track record? Do a little bit of research to see which the online casinos the digital gaming community is buzzing about. You’ll want to learn more about their customer service and their overall reputation. The internet is a dangerous place, so make sure you’re feeling 100% secure before you input your credit card information and hit submit!

Do they hold the proper licensing and registration? This goes hand-in-hand with their reputation. If reviews check-out, do a deeper dive to make sure they’re legitimate. Avoid online casinos that fail to provide licensing information — a surefire sign that you’ll be duped!

How will you pay to play? The most reputable online casinos offer multiple ways to withdraw or deposit funds. You should also be wary of any daily or weekly withdrawal limits. This is a good indicator that something is not sound. As a general rule, paypal is usually the safest way to go.

Are there any signing bonuses? Many digital casinos will offer a one-time offer for bonus cash to play with when a new member signs up. Who doesn’t like perks? Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, check out their bonus offers and see whose takes the cake

Do they have a good variety of games? And finally, when all is said and done it really all comes down to personal preference. Make sure the sign you choose has gaming options that peak your interest!

Remember, participating in online casinos isn’t the only way to bring the poker party to you! Just call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST and let Casinos by M&M liven up your next party, fundraiser or family gathering. And don’t forget to follow us on  FacebookTwitter and Google+!

5 Ways to Become a Better Bluffer

The expression “fake it till you make it” has never been more true than at the poker table. Bluffing has become as much a part of the game as the actual cards are, and people are always looking for ways to improve their bluffing skills. If you’re looking to try your luck at the poker table soon, check out these tips on how to become an expert bluffer.

Winning Hand

The Telltale Signs of a Tell

Before you can fix something, you have to know what you’re looking for. So before you can become a successful bluffer, you need to know what your tell is. Play a friendly game of poker with family and ask them to give you hints about what you do when you have a good or bad hand.

Know Your Bluff

Is your hand decent, but not great? Then you’re probably going to want to do a semi bluff. This is when your hand is okay, but you are confident it will get better as the hand progresses. A whole bluff on the other hand is much more difficult. If you’re dealt a horrible hand right out of the gate, you’re best bet is probably to fold. But if you decide to stay in, you better be either very skilled at the game or very skilled at bluffing.

Timing is Everything

You shouldn’t be bluffing throughout the entire game, so when is the best time to bluff? The rule of thumb is never bluff if you’re the first one up to bet. Instead, hold off on bluffing until your position to bet is later — this will let you analyze other players bets and possible bluffs.

Learn Other People’s Tell

A game of poker can last a while, so don’t jump into bluffing right away. Spend the first few hands playing your cards straight and studying other’s body language. If you play with the same friends every week you’ve probably already learned most of their tricks, so to really test your skills, try out a new group or table at a casino.

Practice, Practice Practice

Bluffing is a skill that takes time and practice to master, so before you hit any Las Vegas, $100 table minimums, have a few friends over for poker night. You’ll have a great time getting together and have a chance to perfect your new skill.

Looking to test your bluffing skills at your next poker night? Why not practice with real equipment, and professional dealers? Just call Casinos by M&M at 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST or visit our website to learn how we can help make your next gathering a night to remember.

How Did the Joker Card Come About?

The joker card is a bit of an outsider. Many decks don’t include them and lots of us take them out before a game, so why was the Joker card added in the first place? If you’ve ever been curious about the Joker card’s origin, you’re in luck! Here’s a brief history of how the deck’s most unique card came to be.

Conceptual illustration of a strong argument in open discussion

The Beginning: Though playing cards have been around for thousands of years, the Joker is a relatively new addition, appearing for the first time during the Civil war. It was then that Euchre players created new rules for their game, one of which included adding another “trump” card — originally called the Best Bower.

The Hype: The Best Bower was widely used and sought after, so it wasn’t long before American and British manufacturers began including the whimsical card in their own decks. Soon, the Best Bower became known as the Jolly Joker, or Joker. At the time, there was no universal look to the card, so companies branded it with their own logo or design.

The Versatility: Unlike other cards in a deck, the joker has a different value and purpose in every game. It is considered the best card in Euchre, wild in poker and the losing card in the children’s game “Old Maid.” Despite its limited use today, the joker card is a favorite among players who love the history of the character and the cards ability to reflect the culture it was made in.

Does all this talk about card games have you in the mood to play? Lucky for you, Casinos by M&M has a wide variety of authentic card game tables you can rent for your next gathering and enjoy with the whole family.

Get more information about our casino game rentals by visiting our website or calling 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Google+!

5 Common Blackjack Blunders

Luck isn’t the only thing you’ll need at the casino if you’re looking to try your hand at a game of blackjack. While a little good fortune certainly helps, you should also be able to identify and avoid the most common blackjack mishaps. Here are a few blunders to be aware of to to take your card playing to the next level.

Blackjack Hand

  1. Taking even money. No one wants to miss out on a surefire payout, and that’s what people assume they’re getting when they take an even bet — but is it actually as good as it seems? Short answer – no. When you have blackjack and the dealer shows an ace, there’s a 31% chance he also has blackjack, so that leaves a 69% chance he doesn’t. If you were to bet even, you’d be missing out on the chance to win 1.5 times your bet.
  2. Standing on a soft 18 against a dealer’s 10. When you stand on a soft 18, you’ll sadly lose more than you win. When you hit, you may also lose more than you win, but not as much as when you stand. So your best bet is to always hit and hope a stroke of luck comes your way!
  3. Not doubling 11 against a dealer’s 10. The chances of a dealer making the pat 20 are less than your chances of getting a 20 or 21. So, while doubling down might decrease your odds of winning slightly, it will increase your potential profit margin if you do win.
  4. Playing a soft hand with three or more cards. With a soft hand containing three or more cards, casino rules won’t let you double down, so what now? Just follow these two simple rules – if you have a 17 or less, always hit and if you have an 18 or more, stand; EXCEPT against a dealer’s 9, 10 or ace.
  5. Doubling for less. When you double down, your overall gain from the extra bet is always greater compared to your overall gain if you were to hit or stand. When doubling down, abide by the “go big or go home” principal and always double down for the full amount of your original bet.

Are you ready to test your blackjack skills with friends, family and co-workers? Allow Casinos by M&M to bring the authentic casino party experience right to your venue!

To learn how you can book a blackjack table and dealer for your next event, or to see a full list of our party planning service, visit our website or call us at 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST today!

Slot Machine Strategies That Work

Slot machines are some of the most popular games for casino goers, and for a good reason. Playing slots requires little strategy, but a whole lot of luck! Fortunately, there are a few steps you can follow before you pull that lever to increase your odds of hitting the jackpot.

Man pulling down lever of slot machine in casino

Be selective. When you enter the casino, don’t just plop down at the first machine you see. Be strategic in your decision, seeking out machines that have multiple different pay lines. The more ways to win, the better! Avid slot player say that when you find the right machine, you’ll just know!

Bet max. No matter what machine you choose to play, always bet max lines! A machine with multiple ways to win does no good if you’re not trying to win in every way possible. Remember, the higher the risk, the higher the reward.

Limit yourself. Practice self control by setting a limit and sticking to it — or set multiple limits. Say you decide that you only want to bet a total of $100 per slot machine. After you select a machine, sit and play until that $100 runs out. Then it’s onto the next one!

Practice first. Familiarize yourself with the way a slot machine and slot machine betting works. There are a wide variety of free apps and online sites that can help you get more comfortable before you press your luck for the big bucks.

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Surprising Life Lesson to Learn From Blackjack

There’s a lot to be learned from a good old fashioned game of blackjack — and we’re not just talking about the mathematics of card-counting. Pressing your luck on the table can teach you a few great life lessons as well, that can be applied both in and out of the casino.

Surprising Life Lesson to Learn From Blackjack

Never go in blind.
Know the rules, expectations and a few tips before you walk in — it’s as simple as that. Why lose money at a blackjack table because of silly mistakes? As such, you wouldn’t go into a job interview without researching the company a bit, or invest money without looking at stock market trends first. In every aspect of life, take time to do your research and learn what you are walking into.

Embrace the peaks and valleys.
Time spent playing blackjack will be filled with big wins and even bigger losses. Remember that “ups and downs” are a part of life. Good streaks will come to an end, but so will bad ones. Don’t focus too much on what the outcome is at that exact moment, but rather enjoy the ride.

Always have self-control.
Gambling is all about power — the power of the dealer, the power of a strong hand, the power to get up and walk away. That last one is the most important. Once you’ve hit your cap for the night, have the self-control to bow out, or risk suffering an even larger loss. In life, you should always set limits and goals for yourself. Whether it’s how much you spend on a house, or time you invest at work, be disciplined and remember what your limits are.

Know when to walk away.
Part of self-control is knowing when to call it quits, in blackjack, and in life. There are times when persistence is key, but there are also instances where you need to accept that no more time, energy or money poured into something will yield you a good return.

Are you ready to experience all the excitement and life lessons that blackjack can offer? Here at Casinos by M&M, our authentic tables and friendly dealers are just the thing!

For more information about our casino game rentals, visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+!

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