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More Long Lasting Casino Games

28 Nov 2023

By Frank Scoblete
Last issue I tackled why slot machines were hands down the top games in the casinos. Fully 60 to 90 percent of casino revenues will often come from those former “one-armed bandits.”

Today I will take a look at the next two longest lasting games in today’s casinos: blackjack and craps.


Blackjack in some form or other has been played in the casinos since the late 1800s. It was always the second game to craps after World War II. But something happened in the mid-1950s (about 1955 or so); mathematicians studied the game and came up with what is now called basic strategy, a method for correctly playing one’s hands that would increase a player’s win on good hands or decrease a player’s loss on bad hands against every dealer’s up-card.

This was not what propelled this card game (usually called 21 and now usually called blackjack) to first place among the table games. That took a brilliant book by one Edward O. Thorp titled “Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One.”

In this book Thorp created a method of card counting that could actually give the player an edge over the game. Baboom! Players read the book and some put into effect Thorp’s new method of play. Indeed, players who could not beat the game also became interested in a game they couldn’t beat (for some reason) and also flocked to play it.

Blackjack soon surpassed craps as the favorite casino table game and it is still heads and heels above craps and roulette the two games generally tied for second place in the table-game ratings today.

Will blackjack continue to conquer? While some players have developed simpler counting systems that can beat today’s multiple-deck games (2-decks, 4-decks, 6-decks, and 8-decks). There are now unlimited decks continuously being dealt from shuffle machines. These games are largely unbeatable. Yes, the casinos have continued to fix the blackjack games to make them harder to beat.

Take the 6/5 blackjack game that reduces the $3 to $2 payment for getting a hand of 21 on the first two cards to $6 for $5. That becomes a heavy load a player would have to overcome and most can’t. There are other changes too – all giving the casino a greater edge for a card counter to overcome; some edges often can’t be overcome.

Still, none of these changes have hurt blackjack’s standing as the number-one ruler of the table game kingdom. Maybe it will never give up its crown.


Craps was a game that developed along the Mississippi River long ago and it hit the big cities sometime during the 1920s and during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Southerners called the game “crabs” but Northerners heard the word “craps” and that is what the game ultimately became – craps. World War II brought the game to the forefront for the armed forces and when the war ended the game zoomed up in the casino world – both the legal casinos and illegal casinos featured it.

It is still played on the streets today, although the street game is somewhat different from the casino game.

Craps has a few excellent bets in the casino scheme of things but mot of the wagers offered are not good. But players love the game and it is considered the most exciting game in the casino.

NEXT WEEK: The final longest lasting game and some advice!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is His books are available from, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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