Four card poker and my date with the Chumash Indians

Without a doubt, one of the real “perks” of being part of the Las Vegas night casino entertainment team is being able to try out new casino-style games before they subsequently debut on the casino gaming scene at a later date. Our company has always been a pioneer in the Las Vegas casino night party rental industry when it comes to having these new casino games available for their customers to enjoy, before anyone else in the Southern California entertainment market. With that in mind, it goes without saying that when a new game DOES make its way onto the casino gaming scene, it’s up to the US to put it to the test.

You ALL know where this is going: It’s “Story Time” once again. Hey, that’s why we’re considering the “propaganda ministry” around here. (Smile) Okay, so, here’s one for the books…

It’s late 2008, time for another family adventure. (I’d call it a “vacation,” but when it comes to MY family, “adventure” is a much better term. You’ll see.) My dear wife decided that it is time to forget about the casino party industry. for a weekend she picks up the kids, hop in the car and head to a town in central California called Solvang, a word I assume is Danish for “bakery swap meet.” OK, I think to myself, the good wife needs a getaway to have some fun, do some shopping and find out what an Aebleskiver is. (Don’t ask. The only thing I can cook is microwaveable food.)

So, off we go: down Highway 101, past Lake Cachuma, and lo and behold, there it is. Hold on to your Aebleskivers, I can’t believe it – it’s a small Dutch town right here in California. Quaint, nice and friendly people, great food (highly recommend Solvang restaurant), lots of places to see and visit.

I mean, A LOT of places – including one more I didn’t know existed… It looks like, just down the road from “Aebleskiver Alley”, there’s a shiny, shiny new building that stands out like a sore thumb. And when I saw the name on this monstrosity that doesn’t look like Solvang, it immediately caught my eye. You couldn’t miss it.

“Chumash Indian Casino and Spa”.

We drove right by this huge casino on the way to Solvang, and when my wife saw me looking at this marvel of casino engineering, she KNEW the Chumash Indian tribe was going to be an unplanned part of her vacation. (I told you it would end up being an affair. It just wouldn’t be right if we didn’t have a little adventure.)

Now, when I was in school, if you took a survey of all the history teachers who ever tried to interest me in the art of historical studies, they would all tell you that everything I know about history would fit in a small paper cup. Over the years I have improved my historical knowledge ever so slightly, especially in the area of ​​American history, but I must admit that American Indian history has missed this porter a lot.

“Do me a favor,” my wife says immediately, as we drive past this Chumash Casino. “Don’t go investigating that place until we’re leaving town, after our vacation.” It’s a deal, I say. So after we’ve all had our fill of all the Danish pastry this side of Solvang, it’s time. Holidays are over, it’s time to visit the “Chumash Indian Casino and Spa”.

Now, I may not know much about the Chumash tribe, but I DO know the law when it comes to both the casino party industry and California casinos in general. WITHOUT CHILDREN. Wifey isn’t interested in seeing this place anyway. The only bet she has made on her has been to marry me, and since she has lost her only “bet”, she does not seek to recoup her losses. She stays with the kids in the comfort of the covered patio outside the entrance of this place, and she tells me, “she goes do your thing.”

So, inside I go. Yeah, quite a nice place. It’s new, clean, and has the list of games you’d expect to be present in a California Indian-based casino: no roulette, no craps (not even dice with cards), LOTS of slots, and when it comes to the games of mesa, are pretty much the usual suspects (BJ, Caribbean, 3CP), except for one.

Four card poker.

Now, I remember receiving the memo from the Shuffle-master corporation regarding their most recent creation, but I had not seen this game implemented in a casino. OK, let’s see how this works, I tell myself. Pull up a chair, let’s try this game. Well, after about 30 minutes, this is what we found out about “Four Card Poker”, courtesy of yours truly:

–There are two initial bets available: Ante and Aces Up.

–All players are dealt five cards each and the dealer is dealt six cards. (I’m not too excited about this part, but since there isn’t a lot of energy involved as far as winning bets go, the house must have SOME advantage.) One of the dealer’s cards is placed face up and five face down.

–The players who make the Ante bet must decide to fold or raise.

–If the player folds, all bets are lost.

–If the player raises, then he must raise at least the amount of the Ante and at most three times the Ante.

–Players keep their best four cards and discard one.

–The following is the ranking of hands from low to high: High Card, Pair, Two Pair, Straight, Flush, Three of a Kind, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind.

–After all decisions have been made, the dealer will turn over his cards and select the best four out of six.

–The player’s hand will be compared to the dealer’s hand, with the highest hand winning.

–If the dealer’s hand is higher, the player will lose the ante and raise.

–If the player’s hand is greater than or equal, Ante and Raise will pay one for one.

–If the player has at least three of a kind, they will also be paid a bonus, regardless of the value of the dealer’s hand. (I love that part of the game.)

A careful mathematical evaluation of this game called “Four Card Poker” seems to suggest that the house edge comes to around 3.89% using a normal paytable (there is more than one, depending on where you play), and it can go down to around 3.15%, using what might be called “basic strategy”, something discussed in the game of Blackjack ad nauseam. We’ll break down this and other games in later blogs, trust me.

Our review of this new game? Well, at 3.9%, it’s not a game that will eat you alive. Heck, the house edge of roulette is around 5.2%, so as far as new casino games on the market go, Four Card Poker seems to be pretty fair. We’ll give Four Card Poker a B+ rating to start with.

We’d give it an “A+” except for two minor issues. One, I lost $60 at Chumash Casino trying out the game. BIG avalanche of cards for the dealer. Oh, and two? I played for about 30 minutes, which, when you’re stuck with MY kids, must seem like 30 days. Four Card Poker Wife Grade? Let’s just say I kind of knew what it would be like, when I walked out of the casino half an hour after I walked in and an Aebleskiver whizzed past my head.

Moral of the story? If you visit the Chumash Indian Casino and Spa, try Four Card Poker. If you are a lover of new casino card games, I think you will like it. Oh, and disarm everyone in the Danish pastry family before entering the Casino. I KNOW you will like THAT.

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