• Gambling

    How to Play Blackjack Like a Pro

    Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and is a game of skill. The house edge in blackjack is low and can be reduced even further with the right strategy. However, many players don’t take advantage of the odds and make costly mistakes that can cost them their money. Here are a few tips to help you play blackjack like a pro.

    Learn Basic Blackjack Strategy

    A basic blackjack strategy is a set of rules that will maximize your chances of winning at the table. The first step is to choose how much money you are willing to bet per hand. This will determine how long you can stay in the game and prevent you from betting more than you can afford to lose. You should also stick to this amount when you are winning or losing. Progressive betting increases, where you increase your bet after every loss and decrease it after each win, can quickly burn through your bankroll.

    Before you begin playing, read the rules of the casino where you’re playing. Often, different casinos have different rules for the same game. It’s important to understand these rules because they can make or break your blackjack experience. If you don’t understand the rules of blackjack, you can easily become confused and make poor decisions that can lead to a large loss.

    Once you have a basic understanding of the rules, start by testing your skills with free online blackjack games. These games will give you a feel for the game and help you get comfortable with it before you make real money bets. You can also practice your strategies on the go with blackjack apps for your phone or tablet. Some of these apps have a variety of blackjack games, including classic and progressive betting increases.

    The goal of blackjack is to beat the dealer by having a higher, unbusted hand. If a player surpasses 21, it is called a “blackjack” or “natural” and the player wins. If the dealer also has a blackjack, it’s called a push and neither player wins.

    If you’re not a natural, you can improve your odds by learning how to count cards. Counting cards can help you identify patterns in the dealer’s actions and determine when it is best to hit or stand. There are a variety of counting systems, such as Hi-Lo and basic counting, that can be used to improve your blackjack game.

    Another way to improve your odds is to play blackjack variations that offer side bets. For example, DraftKings has a blackjack game called Four 20s that allows you to place side bets on the four different twenties in a deck. This is a great way to add some extra excitement to your blackjack experience without risking your entire bankroll.

    In blackjack, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. A good starting point is to find a table where the dealer’s upcard is a seven or higher. This will increase your chances of hitting a blackjack, but don’t forget that luck plays a role as well.

  • Gambling

    How a Domino Artist Creates Mind-Blowing Sets

    A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block with one end bearing a number of dots resembling those on dice. A set of these blocks can be stacked on edge in long lines so that when the first one is tipped over, it causes the rest to topple over as well. This is the basis of many games, and can be used to create elaborate designs. The term domino also applies to a series of events that begin with a simple trigger and lead to much greater—and sometimes catastrophic—consequences, as described by the idiom domino effect.

    The earliest reference to the word appears to be around 1750, though the game itself is much older. The word was originally a French term for a long hooded cloak worn together with an eye mask during carnival season or at a masquerade, and the association seems to have continued when the game became popular in Europe, along with the name.

    Lily Hevesh has been fascinated by dominoes since she was 9 years old, when her grandparents gave her a classic 28-pack. She enjoyed setting them up in straight or curved lines, flicking the first one, and watching the entire chain fall. Now 20, she is a professional domino artist who builds mind-blowing sets for movies, TV shows, and even events.

    Hevesh plans each design in advance. She considers the theme, draws arrows on paper to show how the pieces will fit together, and calculates how many dominoes she will need. She then tests each section of the layout on its own to make sure it works before putting it all together. The biggest 3-D sections go up first, then Hevesh adds flat arrangements and finally lines of dominoes that connect them.

    When she was just 9, Hevesh started posting videos of her creations on YouTube, and her fan base quickly grew. She now has more than 2 million subscribers. Her videos showcase her amazing talent as a domino artist, and provide a glimpse into the complex engineering that goes into each of her installations.

    In her videos, Hevesh explains how she plans each piece of her designs before making them. She begins by considering the overall theme or purpose of the layout, then brainstorms images or words that might be associated with it. She then creates test versions of each section, which she films in slow motion. Each section is tested individually, and once they are working properly, Hevesh puts them all together.

    To create her most recent installation, Hevesh built a giant tower that stands more than 25 feet high. It took her five weeks to complete the project, and it requires more than 2,000 dominoes to build. Hevesh says the key to her success is planning and being efficient. She plans each step of her domino art carefully, and she is careful to not overthink it or overwork herself. In this way, Hevesh ensures that the final product will be as perfect as possible.