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decade career, Loggins’s creativity and diverse playlist has awarded him 12 platinum albums, two GRAMMYs and the Icon Award, presented by The Guild of Music Supervisors. Performing his Hollywood soundtracks and other fan favorites from his days performing with Jim Messina, Loggins will once again bring the audience to its feet with celebrated hits like “Footloose,” “Danny’s Song,” “I’m Alright,” “House on Pooh Corner” and many more. SARAH MCLACHLAN SET TO MAKE WYNN LAS VEGAS DEBUT - April. Marking her return to the Las Vegas Strip after more than eight years, McLachlan will perform fan favorites such as “Angel,” “I Will Remember You,” and “Building A Mystery” in an intimate evening with format, accompanied by cellist Vanessa Freebairn-Smith.


with Mark Pilarski

Card counting is NOT cheating, but…

Dear Mark: When it comes to blackjack, why is counting cards considered a form of cheating? I look at it as someone who is very good at the game and no different from someone playing poker, like players who are very skilled at bluffing and reading the body language and facial expressions of the others at the table. Gary When it comes to counting cards, Gary, you don’t need to be a math wiz. All card counting does is establish mathematically the degree to which the as-yetundealt deck favors the dealer, or

THE COSMOPOLITAN NEWS: THE COSMOPOLITAN PREMIERES GHOST DONKEY AND RED PLATE - The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas expanded its restaurant collection with the introduction of two new venues recently. GHOST DONKEY, a speakeasy-style mezcal and tequila bar, rounds out the offerings at newly-opened Block 16 Urban Food Hall. Featuring an extensive selection of mezcal, Ghost Donkey serves tasting flights alongside specialty crafted cocktails and late-night snacks. RED PLATE, a sophisticated new dining concept, celebrates traditional Chinese cuisine in a refined setting. Helmed by esteemed Chef Yip Cheung, Red Plate honors traditional Chinese techniques and preparations to present an authentic Cantonese menu with hints of modern inspiration.

favors the player. Counting does this by tracking the changing imbalance of big and little cards in a diminishing deck. Card counters, theoretically, have an advantage of anywhere from 0.5% to 1.5% over the casino. A deck rich with high cards (10, jack, queen, king, ace) favors the player, whereas, an excess of low cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6), favors the dealer. When that ratio favors the counting player, he/she bets more money; when it favors the dealer, the counter bets less. Your assertion, Gary, “why is counting cards considered a form of cheating?” is erroneous in that card counting is NOT illegal under federal, state, and local laws in the United States; just so long as the player does not use any external card counting device, or persons, to assist them in counting cards. In their pursuit to identify card counters, casinos can ban players believed to be counters, sort of. It depends, Gary, on where you are playing. For instance, in Atlantic City, they will let you take a whack at counting cards, again, sort of. The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that players can not be discriminated against because of their playing skills (counting),

even if detected. Instead, the casino will employ countermeasures to hinder card counters on the Jersey shore. They “lawfully” impede a skilled card counting blackjack player by using eight-deck shoes, shuffling at will to thwart bet variance, and instruct the dealers to move the cut card near the top of the shoe on suspected counters. In Nevada, before you sit down at a blackjack table, you will need to check your brain at the door. There, laws allow casinos to operate sort-of like a private club, so plan on being asked to leave for using your cerebral matter. So, Gary, though not “technically” illegal, or cheating for that matter, what a casino in Nevada can do is bar the counter from playing blackjack by backing them of the game. Those who want to play this cat and mouse game to gain a one percent plus advantage should expect a pit boss to come up to them and unsympathetically say, “we appreciate your business, but we are going to ask you to stop playing blackjack here. Feel free to play any of the other table games that we offer.” Translated, that means go play any other game that has a much higher house edge. 103

Profile for Accent On Tampa Bay Magazine

Accent On Tampa Bay #246, Jan/Feb 2019