Dealer error...how should it be handled?
  • Playing recently at one of the limited stakes casinos in Blackhawk, CO, the dealer completed everyone's hands before realizing she hadn't dealt herself a down card. She called the pit boss over, who told her to just finish her hand...seems to me all players should have been paid their bets due to the fact that the cards were not dealt in the proper order, with her down card coming after everyone else had played their hands, even though her mistake didn't affect how anyone played their hands. What's your take on this? Any other stories of dealer error, and how was it handled? Thanks.....Cuzz
  • Cuzz said:
    Playing recently at one of the limited stakes casinos in Blackhawk, CO, the dealer completed everyone's hands before realizing she hadn't dealt herself a down card. She called the pit boss over, who told her to just finish her hand...seems to me all players should have been paid their bets due to the fact that the cards were not dealt in the proper order, with her down card coming after everyone else had played their hands, even though her mistake didn't affect how anyone played their hands. What's your take on this? Any other stories of dealer error, and how was it handled? Thanks.....Cuzz


    In Vegas at Bally's in July, dealer thought his five card 16 was 17, and started gathering the bet of the first base player who was showing less than 17. We all squawked, pit boss came over, dealer took one more hit card, and busted.

    What you had happen in Colorado was the way they always play it in Europe. I think the pit boss called it wrong. Under American rules I believe that should have been declared a misdeal, and everyone keeps their bets. I could be wrong, and wonder what our seasoned veterans have to say.
  • I have seen this happen, at the casino I go to the most and here is how they handled it. They can not back up any cards, so they dealt to all the other players first and then the dealer took the last two cards. Now, before you played your hand, you had the option to pull your bet. This seems to be a very fair way to do it and keep everybody happy. (also a good way to dump a stiff hand)
  • I had a dealer not only hit his hard 17 to bust but was about to hit his busted hand again when I asked him what the heck he was doing. It was at the end of the shift and he was tired. He was about to call the pit boss but I told him just to bury the cards and he did. I have seen people point out a mistake that has given them money and give the money back!! I don't do this, dealer mistakes 'for you' are part of the game. Many times the dealer is required to point out thier mistake to the pit boss and it can affect her job security. So just take the money. Its too bad when they make a mistake for the house, that is pointed out loud and clear, dealer evaluation be damned. Cuzz, I think Midnite's scenerio is best, next time try to explain your side to the pit boss, many times its negotiable and the pit crew will rule in the players favor to keep everyone happy, if you think its totally unfair leave the table and politely point out why.
  • I agree mostly with what has been said, however, in an obvious mistake where EVERYONE at the table knows it, I think it is a good idea to say something... I did one time and the dealer was nice enought to call the pit boss over and tell him about my honesty. As I am not an avid counter, etc., I had nothing to fear. I think that in the end it did help me earn a few more comp dollars, and it made me feel better anyways... letting things like that go make me nervous.
  • Point well taken Jeff...thinking back, I probably should have questioned the decision by the pit boss to simply allow the dealer to play out her hand. As I recall, the dealer had a 6 up and most everyone at the table stood pat expecting her to bust...she ended up with 17 and everyone lost the hand. Kinda pissed me off since the cards weren't dealt in the proper order, but I guess it could've gone either way....Cuzz
  • I too agree with mostly everything that has been said, but I’m still trying to figure out how the dealer could not have a “hole” card. “Up” card sure…..that happens occasionally, but not a hole card (unless Colorado deals bass-ackwards).

    Anyway, I’m sure it did happen and IMHO….I think Midnite is close, except in Cuz’s case the hands had already been played out . Really, the only thing a good casino can do to maintain “good will” if nothing else is to…….(1) Give the bet back to any player who has busted, and (2) Give the players with an open hand the option of pulling their bets or playing the hand with the dealer getting a down card “out of order”.

    Grifter
  • Cuzz, your post brings up an important topic, that of the 'dealer bust' card. Renzey points out in his book that the dealer bust card is a misnomer. On page 71 he gives the bust out %s for each dealer up card. The average dealer bust out rate is 28%, for the 6 up its the highest bust out rate, but its only 42%! So if you held at 16 or below you have a 58% chance of losing the hand. If I had been given the choice to retract my bet in your situation and was holding 16 or less I would have dumped, bust card or not.
  • I once had a dealer so new ( and bad) he couldn't hand out 5 chips without counting 1...2...3...4...5 He tried to pay me on a 17 ( he had 18) and I (without thinking) said no! That same session he paid me on a push! Bad karma or not, I took the money that time. Sure enough they must have been watching upstairs because the pit boss came and stood right by us the rest of his shift. It was disgusting, I'm such a girl...I was sweating I was so nervous. Could they have been watching me or asked me to pay it back? Or were they just watching him? Or am I such an honest person that I felt guilt where there should have been none.
  • D said:
    I once had a dealer so new ( and bad) he couldn't hand out 5 chips without counting 1...2...3...4...5 He tried to pay me on a 17 ( he had 18) and I (without thinking) said no! That same session he paid me on a push! Bad karma or not, I took the money that time. Sure enough they must have been watching upstairs because the pit boss came and stood right by us the rest of his shift. It was disgusting, I'm such a girl...I was sweating I was so nervous. Could they have been watching me or asked me to pay it back? Or were they just watching him? Or am I such an honest person that I felt guilt where there should have been none.

    D -- I'm sure they were interested in the rookie dealer's problems, not anything you did or think you should have done. And they couldn't have asked you to pay it back. Usually there's a fine print placard with words to the effect that the house is stuck with dealer mistakes. Next time you feel guilty about benefitting from a dealer error, just remember who puts the dealers under pressure to deal as many hands as possible per hour, and why they want the pace to move that fast.
  • I must be lacking in all ethics. It has never occured to me to point out a dealer's mistake when it's in my favor, which does happen occasionally. I would think pointing out would probably bring more heat on the dealer than quietly pocketing the mistake.
    As to how the suits behind the table should handle other mistakes, it doesn't appear to me that there's any handbook (I'd like to hear from some dealers). My experience is that it totally depends on what kind of mood the floor guys are in. Some, it seems, all but want to hand everybody at the table money, others won't budge. But I did have a funny one recently in Miss. The dealer had to leave suddenly (bathroom emergency). There were no relief dealers at the time, so one of the suits stepped in to deal until she could get back. Very first hand he mis-deals (didn't deal himself a first card and went around the horn again). He had to call over a fellow suit to straighten out the mess amicably. But we all enjoyed telling the dealer about it when she got back. And she seemed to enjoy it as well.,
  • How to handle dealer errors? Only play at tables with Mindplay machines. Then there won't be any errors, right? :D :D :D
    I usually point out the error and more often than not, the dealer appreciates it (or at least acts like he/she does). I figure it's the rule of karma. If you don't cheat the casino, they won't cheat you (LOL).
  • Point well taken BJ_Fan... That's a good way of looking at it...
  • D.Dog- Iwas once playing in A.C when the dealer thought she busted on 5 cards and payed me (5 units) I believed her and did not say anything. She then realized she made a mistake and called over the pit boss. The pit boss asked me what I had up for a bet and told me to pay it back. I did without hesitation and tried to explain that I was not aware of her total count. It made me feel a little guilty though. However, at the end of my session (winner) I ask them to comp me and my wife for dinner and they did with no problem.
  • J C said:
    D.Dog- Iwas once playing in A.C when the dealer thought she busted on 5 cards and payed me (5 units) I believed her and did not say anything. She then realized she made a mistake and called over the pit boss. The pit boss asked me what I had up for a bet and told me to pay it back. I did without hesitation and tried to explain that I was not aware of her total count. It made me feel a little guilty though. However, at the end of my session (winner) I ask them to comp me and my wife for dinner and they did with no problem.


    Yes, that's awkward. You don't want to look like you're taking advantage of their mistake but sometimes with all their speed, especially in hands with multiple aces, you can in good faith believe the dealer is right when she figures she has busted or has miscounted in some other way that works to your benefit. Of course if I'm not alert enough to catch those errors, it's a warning that I'm not yet alert enough to keep a running count going in my head.

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