"Deal"ing with reality

Just a lil slice of life from a casino dealer's perspective.

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Location: Edgerton, Missouri, United States

I grew up in a small town, and live in small town now. Like to think I have more than a small town mind, but I doubt it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Gambling in Hollywood

These days it seems like everyone is getting into the gambling racket. Even Hollywood. Just about every series does a Las Vegas episode. Those that don't pretend to be in Vegas that is.

With more and more casinos sprouting up across the nation more people are learning how tables games are supposed to be operated. It would seem that Hollywood might work harder to be accurate with their gaming related shows and movies. But still many glaringly obvious errors appear.

A clear mistake is the entire premise behind Oceans Eleven. The idea that three casinos would share one vault is ridiculous. Especially three casinos placed so far apart as to make sharing that vault a logistical nightmare. Besides that there is the accounting difficulties of tracking the money and chips used by three major casinos in and out of one place. Three casinos, one vault (with one door?) just doesn't happen.

An episode of Monk on USA featured the over-phobic detective in Vegas to solve a murder. While there he plays a little blackjack. Anyone who has spent more than an hour inside a real casino would spot a few mistakes in how the game is dealt. The cards are delivered backwards and placed so close together that they are unreadable to anyone without their nose on the table itself.

Now I don't expect everyone not trained to deal blackjack to get it 100% correct. The thing that gets me is the point when Monk is winning and the casino owner steps up to the table and decides to change things around. He stops the game in the middle of a multi-deck shoe and adds 2 more decks. I don't know of a casino anywhere that would change the number of decks on a table on the spur of the moment. Much less a casino owner that would be bothered enough by a single player to personally do it.

I do feel the need to give a little credit to the producers of Law & Order: Criminal Intent for a recent episode that featured a card counting team. What little blackjack I saw dealt was fairly accurate.

However, their craps knowledge could use some(lots) of expanding. In the background of one scene is a full sized craps with two people on it. One stickman standing in the boxperson's position and a player shooting from the stickman's position. No actual boxperson, no base dealers to pay the player while the stickperson secures the dice. Just the player and the stickman.

If anyone from Hollywood wants to hire a consultant and start getting some of these things accurate, feel free to drop me a line.


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