Blackjack: If you bust, you don't get to see the dealer's hole card?

My blackjack app ends the hand after the player busts, and the dealer’s cards are discarded without showing the hole card. Having never busted in a casino (due to my paralyzing fear of table games), I don’t have any first hand experience with this.

It works that way in the casinos, too.

The dealer also has a little mirror inside the table for when the dealer shows Ace. Then (and only then), the dealer will offer insurance and check the hole card via the mirror. After the insurance bets are made (or not), the dealer will end the current hand immediately if the hole card had value 10 by flipping it up and showing the blackjack. Otherwise, you know it’s not a 10 and bet accordingly.

I’ve seen a dealer get rebuked by the pit boss for checking the hole card when the dealer wasn’t showing an ace. I imagine it helps cut down on collusion between dealers and players.

That is correct, if you’re the only player at the table of course. If you bust the hand is over, plain and simple.

IIRC, most of the time in Vegas, playing from a shoe, the dealer will flip over his hole card before sweeping up all the cards and stacking them in the discard pile. Not that it makes any difference. Once you go bust, the hand is over for you.

The only difference it would make is that if you’re counting cards, seeing the dealer’s hole card gives you a little extra information.

Can you ask the dealer to show you the hole card? Will he if you ask?

ETA: After you’ve busted, of course.

Which is wrong in the sequence as described, otherwise, insurance would be a joke (instead a bad-odds bet). The dealer always offers insurance in the case that he/she has an A showing and does not look at the hole card until after all players have made a decision.

Then when it’s his turn for a question, it will be, could you please leave?

To clarify for the non-veteran gamblers, Meeko means that asking to see the hole card would be very suspicious given that, as Chronos said, the only reason to do so would be to help you count cards, which could get you thrown out (if you were good at it).

On the other hand, I understand that casinos love players who are trying to count cards and are bad at it, and in this situation, absent evidence to the contrary, I’d be prepared to believe that the player asking is bad at everything. :wink:

Isn’t that what I said? Or what it confusingly written?

During the 20th century I played quite a bit of Blackjack in Nevada and can report that, with one class of exception, every card (except initial burns and final residue) was surfaced, however briefly, for inspection by all. If all hands are settled the dealer’s hole card is irrelevant, * but it is still flipped* and visible momentarily.

The exception is that some casinos would, very rarely, “deal down” if they had identified a card counter playing at the table. (I recall the Sands in Las Vegas doing this, but IIRC there may have been 1 or 2 other casinos that I noticed doing this.) “Dealing down” means, first of all, that in games where most cards are dealt face-up to start, the cards are dealt face-down instead, but there was more to it. (Even in face-down games, normally every card is eventually exposed.) When “dealing down” irrelevant cards are not exposed including some possible player errors. These cards include:
[ul][li] The two cards of a pat hand when dealer busts. (Normally these cards need to be inspected to see if player forgot to declare Blackjack, but that is not done when “dealing down.”)[/li][li] The hit card of a double-down (or split aces) when dealer busts. (Obviously the card still needs to be shown when player doubled with hard-12 or higher. :smiley: )[/li][li] Player’s hole cards when player throws his hand in busted. (Normally the dealer will inspect and check whether player miscounted.)[/li][li] Dealer’s hole card when every player hand has already been settled.[/li][li] All player cards when dealer turns up Blackjack.[/li][li] (Have I forgotten a case?)[/li][/ul]

Obviously “dealing down” was the signal I should leave the casino but, perversely, I often continued to play to watch reaction of dealers and players. It was rare that players would comment on this unusual protocol, even though the shift was dramatic (especially since Sands normally dealt face-up).

I’ve played at a dealt-down table, and I disagree that all player cards stay down when the dealer turns up Blackjack, because that’s a push for the player who also got blackjack, and so far as I know there’s no requirement for a player to declare his blackjack in that case. (When the dealer shows ace a player can ask for an even money payout on his own blackjack, but he doesn’t have to – and, indeed, he shouldn’t.)

I have played thousands of hours of blackjack in the last 20 years. In almost all casinos I have been to, in Nevada, on reservations, and in Europe, the dealer shows the hole card after you bust. It’s not just for card counters, it’s human nature (or at least for gamblers) to want to know if they should have taken that last hit. We’re relieved to see that the dealer really did have a 20 so it was the “right thing to do” to hit our 13, even though we busted.

I realize this is becoming a sore subject between you and me, but you did not read or comprehend my post! :smiley:

As I tried to explain, there is a normal way to deal face-down and in that normal way every single card is eventually exposed (briefly in some cases, but long enough for an alert person with ordinary eyesight to read it).

What I called “dealing down” (which is a term I heard muttered between pit boss and dealer on more than one occasion) was a very rare procedure: that is the procedure I described in which “irrelevant” cards are not exposed. (Even though as you point out – and I already mentioned – this will cost the player money in some cases where he has erred or violated procedure.)

If the dealer is friendly and having a good time, not only will they linger after flipping their hole card, they’ll point to the first card dealt for the next hand as what you would have gotten had you taken the hit.

In case this still isn’t clear, the very rare procedure was only used when a card counter was playing. Someone who played “thousands of hours” might never see it (especially if their own card counting went undetected! :cool: )

This “dealing down” is one of several different methods casinos have applied to thwart card counters. Those who think all casinos automatically bar all counters are misinformed.

septimus, what you probably witnessed was a procedure used only for a few weeks while a particular gaming consultant was at the Sands – very early 1990s, right?

And yes, he has used the same procedure in several casinos over the years.

My period of highest activity was the very late 1970’s and that’s probably when I witnessed this. I played a little in the 1980’s but almost not at all since 1990 or so.

Even ignoring the losses in my mental acuity, my eyesight (monocular diplopia in both eyes) may prevent me from playing these days. Circa 1979, believe it or don’t, I could sit near the bar in Las Vegas Club and count the shoes at three different tables several yards away by observing them in an overhead mirror! Lately I sometimes mistake a 1 for a 2 on the dice when playing backgammon with my ten-year old son. :smack:

I suppose I could get laser surgery and attempt a return to the Blackjack tables in my late middle age. Instead, I’m happy to just smell the roses and engage in [del]vicious arguments[/del] delightful repartee at SDMB.

Sounds like our paths have probably crossed a few times. I found the same thing with the mirrors at the Nevada Palace – could count down three tables from most anywhere near the pit. Nevada Palace is also where the casino consultant I was thinking of got his start, but not until 1981 or 82, so yeah, that procedure was just part of the general counting paranoia of those days; didn’t realize you were going back that far.

I worked in the business for a long time after it got too hard to find a place that would let me play blackjack – switched to poker full time after closing down the Sands and then the Aladdin, then switched to online poker and left Las Vegas in 1998 partly because my well past middle aged eyes were having trouble distinguishing clubs from spades.

I know we’ve gotten a little off topic but … did you get in on it when the Royal on Convention Center Drive was paying $10/hour to play single deck BJ? Ahh, those were the days. :wink: