- Town of Tunica
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By John Grochowski on Monday October 3, 2011
blackjack, gaming, gaming-strategy, tourism, tunica
Practicing before you play for money is a good thing. I first learned the ins and outs of blackjack playing at home, and I learned video poker strategy in the days before home computers by dealing myself hands of cards and comparing to a strategy table.
But sometimes those who play at home follow different rules and procedures. Not long ago, a man playing at my table was surprised to find the casino didn’t pay on five-card Charlies — five cards with a total of less than 21.
Everything moved along normally for a dozen or so hands. Until …
The dealer had a 10 face up. The home player had a 5 and a 2, then drew a 3, another 3, an Ace and a 4. His cards totaled 18, and it was time to stand.
Except he expected more.
“That’s five cards,” he said. “Shouldn’t you pay me?”
The dealer looked surprised. “I have to play out my hand,” she said.
I picked up on what was going on, and I told the player, “They don’t pay on five-card Charlies.”
Then it dawned on the dealer. “Oh, no,” she said. “You have to beat my hand.”
That upset the player.
“What do you mean, no five-card Charlie? That’s always an automatic winner.”
The dealer was polite. “It’s not an automatic winner here, sir.”
I piped in, “That’s the way it works pretty much everywhere.”
Turned out it was his first trip to a casino. His blackjack experience had been with his grandparents, his parents, college buddies, friends at home poker games…just about everywhere but a casino.
A pit supervisor came over to calm him down. The player wasn’t happy, but now he knows.