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Las Vegas Stories

A Secret Golf Course, The World Series of Poker and a Lesson 007 Should Learn
Michael Konik
From the Print Edition:
Bill Cosby, Autumn 94

(continued from page 4)

Despite the high-society glamour of the game, baccarat is the one casino activity that most resembles picking "heads" or "tails" on the flip of a penny. The house deals two hands: "player" and "bank." The hand with a point total closest to nine (picture cards are worth zero) is best. Gamblers bet on the hand they think will win.

That's it. That's the extent of the decision making involved.Based on how the rules are set up, after commissions the house has a 2 to 3 percent edge over the bettor. The shoe cannot be counted effectively; the cards cannot be bluffed, and, as we know, there's not a "betting system" in the world that can beat it. In other words, a losing proposition completely immune to skill, style or good looks.

Wouldn't Bond be better off playing poker? For that matter, wouldn't anybody?

Michael Konik is the gambling columnist for Cigar Aficionado.

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