We love the true heroes of the casino, those with the guts to go all in, potentially losing everything. These are the men and women who don’t know the meaning of a safe life, a moderate existence, or a comfortable casino experience. Rather, they prefer to live life far out on the edge, where precious few choose to dwell. In some ways, they’re fortunate, as they can find a unique perspective on the world, even if they end up paying a very high price for it.

And so begins the tragic tale of Akio Kashiwagi.

Kashiwagi was a wealthy Asian real estate mogul who loved wagering high on the Las Vegas strip.

casino lossHe regularly played his favorite game, baccarat, for outrageous amounts of money, sometimes $100,000 to $200,000 a hand on the game, often for hours at a time. The only reason he stopped at the $200,000 mark was because the table would admit no higher wagers. Who knows how high Kashiwagi would have gone were he given the opportunity.

According to Dennis Gomes, president of the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, [Kashiwagi] would play two days straight without sleeping, go to bed, get up and gamble some more. He was a friendly guy, but he was a tough negotiator when it came to paying his debt. It was frustrating to deal with him. Out of an $8 million debt, you’d probably collect maybe $5 million.”

One day, Kashiwagi accepted a challenge to a $12 million freeze-out at an Atlantic City casino. With $200,000-maximum bets, the basis of the wager was for Kashiwagi to play until he’d either lost the full $12 million or doubled his money. For some six days, Kashiwagi feverishly played up to 12 hours a day with little sleep in between.

He left with $10 million less than he started. In with $12 million, out with $2 million.

Can we hear a collective ouch? Wait. You haven’t heard the worst of it.

On January 3, 1992, Kashiwagi was stabbed about 150 times with a samurai sword. His body was discovered at his home near Mount Fuji. It is believed that Kashiwagi was murdered by the Yakuza (Japanese mobsters) over a business deal that had gone sour. When Kashiwagi died, he left casino debts of several million dollars.

Kashiwagi lived by the sword and ended up, ironically, dying by the sword. You can’t expect to wager in the world of high rollers, sharky businessmen and the cut-throat Yakuza and not find yourself coming up short at least once. The world is quick to cheer at your successes, but slow to forgive your mishaps. We’re sorry for Kashiwagi’s fate. His story even garnered a mention in the New York Times when he died in 1992.

But we appreciate that Kashiwagi lived a life less ordinary. Had he won his $12-million challenge, he’d certainly have been a wealthier man. But just like the casinos, life can throw its collective disadvantages at all of us if we’re not careful about how we lay our cards and make our choices.

Casino_WarWhen stepping into a casino or trying to gamble online the amount of confusing table games out there can be pretty confusing and overwhelming. If you’re looking for a card game that is easy to learn and fun to play, and also provides you with great odds point casino war could be a great option. While casino war can be a very fun games to play and easy to learn, there are several things that you should know about the game before you start playing it to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting into.

The person that you need to know about the game is how it is played and what the rules are. When playing Casino war you will dealt acard and the dealer will be dealt a card. If your card is better than the dealers you will win. However if your cars is worse you will lose. The repayment for each bet is 100%, meaning if you bet five dollars and win, you will win five dollars.

Where the game gets tricky is in the event that you are tied to dealer and draw the same card. In this situation you will have to go to war with the dealer and another card is dealt. This process can repeat itself up to four times until either you and the dealer receive different cards. If you tie the dealer five consecutive times, you will win the bet.

The one thing that you need to know about casino war is that for each card you were dealt you’ll need to place down another identical bet. This means that you could end up betting up to five times what you originally wagered. While this can maximize the amount of money that you can win, it does add some risk to the game.

Overall, casino war can be a great game for someone to play. It is very easy to learn and can be plenty of fun and also provides you with some of the best odds in a casino. The game also typically has lower minimum bet options, which can make it a great option for anyone in the casino.

Learn to play


blackjackCard counting in Blackjack has been portrayed in movies like Rain Man and The Hangover to be an impenetrably complex mathematical feat, something which requires the memory of an elephant and the calculating power of a supercomputer. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. The only mathematical skills you need to start counting cards are adding and subtracting. Once you’ve learned the method, you need only to practice until it becomes second nature. Camouflaging and otherwise not attracting attention from the pit boss are skills you will need to develop, but that is separate from actually counting cards.

Legendary Blackjack player Arnold Snyder devised what he calls the Red Seven Count, a strategy that captures most of the power of much more complicated schemes, but is very easy to learn. In card counting, every card value gets a number. The Red Seven Count assigns them thus:

  • Tens, face cards, and aces: +1
  • Twos through sixes: -1
  • Red sevens: +1
  • Black sevens, and all eights and nines: 0
  • Every deck starts at -2, so two decks start at -4, and so on

Start with a single freshly shuffled deck, and the count of -2. Now flip one card over at a time, calling out the values as you go. Once you make no mistakes, try silently saying the values to yourself and adding and subtracting them as you go. If you do it correctly, you should end up with a count of 0. If you don’t get 0, you messed up somewhere. Do it again.

In fact, do it again and again and again. Practice until you can count down a 52-card deck in 25 seconds or less. One satisfying way to see if you’re on the right track is to stop when you have one card not overturned. If the count is 0, then you know it’s a black seven, an eight, or a nine. If the count is 1, you know it’s an ace or 10-value card. If it’s -1, then you know it’s a low-value card.

How to apply this in the casino environment is to step up your bet when the count is above 0. That’s because there is a surfeit of 10s and aces in the deck at that point, which is the optimal situation for the Blackjack player.