Rapid fire Q&As

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Too many inquiring minds, too little space. When you’re drowning in questions that deserve the 600 words you’re allotted for a column, your life preserver is receiving many that can be answered in 20 words or less. With plans on revisiting some with more detail in the future, why not a column giving away some books (see Gambling thought of the week) by letting loose with a salvo cannonade of Q&As?

What was the exact hand held by “Wild Bill” Hickok when shot in the back by Jack McCall? Ken W.
The ace of clubs, ace of diamonds, both black eights and the queen of hearts. Whether the queen of hearts was the fifth card is debated by gaming historians.

How often will I be dealt a natural blackjack on a single deck game? Maureen D.
4.83% of the time.

On the internet, where can I find some of your past columns? Stacy D.
I’ve got a big batch at my web site (http://dealmein.org or http://markpilarski.com).

What do the four suits in a card deck represent? Morgan P.
They symbolize the medieval classes of man. Hearts­priesthood, spades­nobility, Clubs­peasantry, diamonds­the wealthy merchant class.

What is the house edge in baccarat when betting on the bank hand? Billy C.
1.17%. If you bet the player hand, you’re at a 1.36% disadvantage. Both are still great wagers for the player.

Who is known as “the Grand Old Man of Poker?” Larry H.
Johnny Moss, who not only was the first world champion crowned at the World Series of Poker, but also a three-time champ.

Using perfect basic strategy in blackjack, when do you split eights? Tom A.
Always! There are two hands that basic strategy dictates you should always split-aces and eights.

What is a “cat hop” in draw poker? Bill M.
A two-card draw to a straight or a flush.

Who was the first big-name entertainer in Vegas? Ralph I.
Liberace was first to demand, and get, $50,000 per week in Las Vegas.

Why are the table felts blue in Morocco? Darren S.
Because green is the sacred color of Islam; also known as the “Color of the ICB.”

I always bet red on a roulette table. How often can I expect to win? Arlene P.
47.37% of the time.

How can the casino afford to give away a 99¢ breakfast? Tom C.
Because they plan on you spending $20.99 before you leave.

Who was the first woman twenty-one dealer in Nevada? Caroline S.
Doris Rose, who pitched cards at the Nevada Club in Reno.

How many possible poker hands are there using a 52-card deck? Kaye R.

What is your favorite casino bet? Steve S.
Any wager that has less than a 2% house advantage.

Any favorite books or movies on gambling? Cheryl H.
My favorite gambling movie is “Let it Ride” staring Richard Dreyfuss. As for books, two come to mind: The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky and The Luck Business by Robert Goodman.

If I hit a hard 16 in blackjack, how often will I bust? Christine H.
60% of the time.

What is the best advice you would give a first-time gambler? Sandra R.
Whether they’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, my advice remains the same. “The smarter you play, the luckier you’ll be.”

Gambling thought of the week: Remember, if I use your question in this column, I’ll send you a copy of my book, Deal Me In. So please join the conversation and send your questions to the address below.

Mark S. Pilarski
Deal Me In
P. O. Box 1234
Traverse City, MI 496845

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