An emerging dilemma to Nevada casino operators developed in the 1980’s with the advent of strategy play, card count teams and the recognition that losses could occur through dealer exposure of the hole card when checking for Blackjack.
The problem: lost revenue through hole card exposure or lost revenue caused by dealing fewer hands when not allowing the dealer to check the hole card (or not dealing the second card) to protect against hole card exposure.
Nevada casinos allowed dealers to check the hole card whenever the dealer’s up card allowed for a possible Blackjack; however, in the 1980’s most casino operators changed their procedures to preclude the dealer from checking the hole card with a dealer up card of 10, J, Q, or K in order to eliminate losses attributed to players taking advantage of negligent or intentional hole card exposure or dealer “tells.”
This change in procedure eliminated the problem of hole card exposure, but created another one; the loss of a dozen or so hands per hour as a result of playing out hands when the dealer had Blackjack at the outset but was not aware of the fact until the players played out their hands.
Not allowing dealers to check the hole card at the outset of play also caused more frequent shuffles and an even greater loss in productivity and revenue, since fewer hands were dealt per hour. In addition, the new procedure irritated players, particularly if they doubled down or drew to 21, but belatedly lost their bet.
Arthur Miller, who had worked in table gaming in Las Vegas casinos for many years, was convinced there was a way to address hole card security without causing delays to the game and without the loss of hands per hour caused by not allowing the dealer to check the hole card or not allowing the dealer to receive a second card at the outset of play.
The MAXTime® hole card reader, invented by Arthur and introduced to Nevada casinos in early 1990, was the ideal solution to this dilemma, providing perfect security against hole card exposure and dealer tells, while significantly increasing dealer productivity; the best of both worlds and an invaluable addition to table gaming.
The device came into almost universal use in Nevada casinos and the company then directed its efforts to New Jersey, where mandated rules of play precluded the dealer from checking the hole card whether the up card was an ace or a ten value card, a rule which, like the European rule of not allowing the dealer a second card until all play is concluded, has an even greater negative impact on productivity and revenue.
From its beginnings in Nevada and expansion to Atlantic City, Tech Art then entered the casino market in Puerto Rico, whose gaming regulation largely mirrored New Jersey. Like New Jersey, Puerto Rico permitted a rule change to allow the use of the MAXTime® device.
Riverboat gaming began to open up in jurisdictions along the Mississippi River. Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri legalized table gaming and casino operators in those jurisdictions ordered the Tech Art hole card reader for their Blackjack tables, as did most of the cruise ships departing U.S. waters that offer table gaming.
As legalized gaming gained momentum along the Mississippi, Native American casino gaming and state sanctioned casino gaming emerged in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and in various provinces in Canada, and the Tech Art hole card reader has become standard equipment on Blackjack tables in those jurisdictions.
Tech Art is licensed as a manufacturer of associated gaming equipment in all jurisdictions in the U.S where gaming has been legalized. The company has been licensed by numerous Indian gaming authorities that regulate the casinos Tech Art does business with. Tech Art has also been licensed in various Canadian jurisdictions offering legalized gaming and by numerous offshore gaming authorities, as well.
The Tech Art hole card reader is currently utilized on approximately 90% of the Blackjack tables in operation in licensed casinos doing business in the United States and its territories.
It has been said that Tech Art’s hole card reader adds as much as 5% to revenue in casino Blackjack operations and the savings to from the elimination of losses due to hole card exposure is immeasurable. The Tech Art hole card reader has revolutionized the way the game of Blackjack is played, the game’s profitability to casinos and players’ enjoyment of the game.
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