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!

10 Fun Casino Facts You Probably Never Heard

The casino and gaming world is rich with fun facts and cultural history. So rich in fact, that we’re positive even the most devoted gaming aficionado might not be able to name all ten of the fun facts we have listed out below:

Fact #1: The word casino is derived from an Italian word, meaning “small villa,” or “summerhouse,“ built purely for enjoyment. Later in the 19th century the meaning shifted to include public entertainment spaces, which is how it eventually became associated with the gaming world.

Fact #2: Those flashing lights on top of the slot machine are actually called candles — only these kind you don’t want to blow out. Instead, you hope they light right up!

Fact #3: The popular phrase “jackpot,” originated as a form of poker. In this variation, the pot continued to grow until a player could open the bidding with a pair of jacks or better.

Fact #4: Slot machine enthusiasts in Australia call their beloved machines “pokies!

Fact #5: Money raised from gambling and lotteries has been used to fund many public building projects, including construction of The Great Wall of China.

Fact #6: On that note, it is said that former President Richard Nixon used funds from bets he won playing cars in the South Pacific during WWII to fund his congressional election campaign.

Fact #7: It’s true that Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the U.S., but Macau is the gambling capital of the world, with bets bringing in $45.2 billion in revenue in 2016.

Fact #8: The first slot machines didn’t always pay winners in cash. In fact, the bar owners who housed these machines was at liberty to award prizes however he/she saw fit, most often in the form of free beer or cigars.

Fact #9: FedEx creator Fred Smith used the last of his company funds to take to the blackjack tables in Las Vegas. His hope was to win enough to pull his business out of debt, which he certainly did!

Fact #10: The Super Big Bertha is the largest slot machine in the world, at over 8 feet tall and 6.5 feet wide. It’s eight spinning reels make the odds of hitting a mere 1 in 25.6 billion!

If you’re planning an event to celebrate the holiday season, contact Casinos by M&M to learn about our casino and party entertainment options! For more information dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST or visit us online.

How to Be a Better Poker Player

Do you love playing poker, but wish you could win a bit more than you lose? Here are a few simple tips to help you improve your poker skills and take home the pot!

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Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to fold. Playing every hand isn’t always best. In fact, it’s a common misconception that the more hands you play the better your odds. This is false and in actuality, failing to fold on bad hands will actually decrease your odds and make you lose more.

Tip #2: Keep your composure. It’s easy to toss back a few too many while sitting around the table with some buddies for a poker night, or even whilst playing in a casino, but that extra beer or martini can cost you. Poker is a real “thinking game” which means your head must be clear at all times!

Tip #3: Hold the bluffs. While bluffing can be a very effective technique, it’s important to know when to bluff and when to fold. In order to successfully bluff, the situation must be perfect and you must be able to read your opponents perfectly.

Tip #4: Don’t let emotions get in the way. Playing poker when you’re mad, sad or in an overall bad mood can be detrimental to your money pile. Letting your emotions get the best of you can cause you to make bad or rash judgement calls.

Tip #5: Pay attention! Make sure you’re keeping track of the cards that have been dealt and the moves that your opponents are making. Even after you fold, it’s important to continue to pay attention in order to understand and read your opponents for upcoming hands.

Do you have any great poker advice for fellow players? We’d love to hear all about it on our Facebook page!

When it comes to playing poker practice makes perfect, so why not practice with your friends and family at a casino party or poker night thrown by Casinos by M&M? We’ve got a wide variety of poker variations with authentic tables to match.

To learn more about our available games and services, click here or call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST.

#TipTuesday! – The Do’s and Don’ts of Casino Etiquette

While going to the casino is all about having fun, winning money and making memories, it’s important to be careful not to take photos with friends near gambling areas. While it may be tempting to snap a shot of your best friend’s face when he or she hits it big, flash photography is severely frowned upon in casinos and can even get you kicked out of the establishment. This is due to the strict security measures that are taken to ensure that gambling patrons are not cheating.

If you’re headed to the casino soon, here are a few more etiquette do’s and don’ts that you’ll need to be aware of:

  • Don’t hand your money directly to the dealer. They are not allowed to take money straight out of your hands for security reasons.
  • Do place your bet on the table in front of you so the dealer can count it on the table for the security cameras before they pick it up.
  • Don’t hold your cards with two hands and don’t remove them from the table. This rule helps prevent players from any unfair slides of the hand.
  • Do hold your cards in one hand in plain sight and leave any face down deals right on the table so the dealer can be sure you’re not cheating.
  • Don’t touch your chips or try to change your bet once the cards have been dealt. The dealer will call “all bets,” signalling your last chance to place a wager.
  • Do make sure to bet before the dealer calls. This ensures that you cannot cheat and change your bet if the odds begin to show in your favor.
  • Don’t say your decision out loud, but do signal it instead. Just like the money on the table rule, the casino’s security cameras need to be able to view and review your decision to stay, fold, hit, raise, etc., in case of discrepancies.
  • Do remember to tip your dealers, as they usually work on a minimum wage salary and make most of their money on tips. While tipping after every hand isn’t necessary, tipping after a big win or after a few wins in a row is greatly appreciated.
  • Do feel comfortable asking a dealer for help or their opinion. Like we stated above, dealers work for tips, and without winners those tips don’t exist! A great dealer roots for the players and is usually happy to give their professional opinion if you’re unsure.

Now that you’ve got the basics down, we think you’re ready to test your skills at your own casino party with Casinos by M&M before hitting the big leagues!

To learn more about the services and games we can provide, click here to view our website or call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter!

What is the Blackjack Hall of Fame?

While there are a wide variety of well-known sports commemoration sites, many people are not aware that the card gaming industry has a special hall to celebrate its greats as well. In fact, the Blackjack Hall of Fame is the only shrine in the gaming industry that pays tribute to some of the most skilled and successful blackjack professionals of all time.

Hall of Fame etched in stone

In 2002, the Barona Casino in San Diego agreed to be the site of celebration for blackjack players worldwide. Convinced by Max Rubin, a highly regarded blackjack player and professional commentator, the Barona Casino agreed to house a blackjack museum. The museum’s purpose was to commemorate the history of blackjack, complete with a wide assortment of blackjack paraphernalia, gaming memorabilia and the world’s largest collection of antique devices from various different gaming eras.

In addition to the newly created museum, the casino agreed to hang photos of the members of the future Blackjack Hall of Fame, promising free rooms, food and drinks to all inductees. The catch however, was that while hall-of-famers were welcome to stay at the Barona Casino free of charge, they were asked to never play on any of the casino tables during their visit.

Once the museum had been established and the stipulations were agreed upon, 21 of the most notable blackjack players, authors, and experts in the industry were nominated for induction. Of those, the public voted 7 to the top, establishing the inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2002. Beginning in 2006, each year one new member is inducted into the hall at the discretion of the current hall-of-famers.

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Interesting Facts About Playing Cards

Whether or not you’re an avid card player, chances are you’ve shuffled the deck at least once or twice in your lifetime. After all, playing cards is one of the most common American pastimes of all time! While you might know the basics – 52 cards, 4 suits, 1 joker – here are some interesting facts that you may not have heard about playing cards yet:

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Fact #1: The United States Playing Card Company (USPC) is the number one producer of playing cards worldwide. Located in Cincinnati Ohio, USPC has been pumping out playing cards since 1867, producing more than 100 million decks each year.

Fact #2: The origins of playing cards dates back to the Orient in the 12th century when the Chinese decided to reinvent the game of dominoes with heavy cardstock.

Fact #3: The diamonds, hearts, spades and clubs that we know today originated as coins, cups, swords, and sticks, respectively, in the Middle East.

Fact #4: When the first French deck of cards came to be, each face card (king, queen, jack) represented specific historical figures. For example, the King of Hearts represented Charlemagne, diamonds was Julius Caesar, clubs was Alexander the Great, and the spades was King David from the Holy Bible.

Fact #5: Traditionally the Ace of Spades in every deck of cards is unique from the rest of the other aces. The distinction originated when the French decided to put a tax stamp on this card specifically to increase their profits from selling playing cards.

Fact #6: Since the Ace of Spades was the only card in the deck that carried a tax, many people tried to dodge the extra expense by buying a deck without that particular card. This is where the common phrase “he/she is not playing with a full deck” originated.

Fact #7: The tallest playing card tower was built in 1992 by Bryan Berg, earning him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Can you believe that there’s so much history behind such a simple game? At Casinos by M&M we pay homage to playing cards by using only the finest, regulation casino playing card decks. In fact, all of our casino party supplies – from chips and dice to gaming tables – are 100% authentic!

To learn about the casino games and party planning support we can provide, call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST, and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

The History of Playing Cards

PAce of Spades playing card Coronation 1902laying cards are a staple in the gaming world across the board. From gambling in casinos, to a night shuffling the deck with family and friends, cards are an international icon of fun! If you’re interested in learning how this simple, yet genius bit of pocket-sized entertainment was created, read on:

The origins of playing cards.
Though the French are credited with bringing playing cards to the forefront of entertainment and game play, the earliest known deck of cards actually originated in in Central Asia during the 10th century. Chinese gamers translated the already famous dominoes into paper form, and began shuffling and dealing them to create new and exciting games. By 1370, four suited decks with court cards had been created, and were discovered and imported by the Europeans.

Playing cards become affordable.
Early decks were handpainted, making their price point extremely high – a luxury that only the wealthy, upper class could afford. However, the 14th century brought the invention of woodcuts, a system where images and lettering could be carved into a block of wood that was then used over and over like a modern day stamp. This sped up the production process and brought the purchase point down considerably, allowing middle class folks to get a taste of the action.

The French take on playing cards.
The original decks designed by the French most closely parallel our modern day cards. France was the first to adopt the 4-suit deck of spades, clubs, diamonds and hearts that we’re all familiar with. They simplified the card designs in order to streamline mass-production, which was booming and exporting to England and the Americas in no time.

Americans produced their own playing cards.
Working off of the initial design and style that the French so fittingly laid out, Americans began reconfiguring playing cards and making them their own. Advancements like doubled-headed court cards, glazed protective surfaces and rounded corners were quickly introduced and adopted. In 1870 the joker card was born as a direct influence of the game “Euchre.”

Today playing cards come in all different shapes and sizes, but their basics remain the same: Fifty-two cards, four suits, nine court cards, and a bonus joker!

At Casinos by M&M we pay homage to playing cards by using only the finest, regulation casino playing card decks. In fact, all of our casino party supplies – from chips and dice, to gaming tables – are 100% authentic!

To learn about the casino games and party planning support we can provide, call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST, and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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