Tonight I was playing Shuffle Master’s Ultimate Texas Holdem machine at Binions in Las Vegas when the unthinkable happened. I was playing with four other players when I was dealt the exact same card as another player at the table.
I am in seat five. As you see the player in seat three and I both have the ten of diamonds. Considering Ultimate Texas Holdem is a single deck game this is a serious issue. There is no legitimate explanation for this to occur. In case you are not familiar with the game I suggest that you check out the Wizard of Odds website to see the rules. As you see rule number 1 is that this is a single deck game:
- The game is played with a single ordinary 52-card deck.
Obviously if I have the same card as another player this machine has a major bug or it is cheating. Since the Wizard of Odds website is not the official rulebook on the game you can also check out the Shuffle Master website. Even though they do not show the rules they try to sell you a single deck shuffler for the game which makes it clear that this is a single deck game:
To maximize game play, we recommend using an Ace®,
an i-Deal™ or a Deck Mate® single deck shuffler.
If this game deals more than one deck, which anyone familiar with the game knows it does not, why is it that the Wizard of Odds, the authority on gambling says it is a one deck game and also the manufacturer and inventor of the game says you need a single deck shuffler to deal it?
The machine took me for about 26 times my expected loss before I discovered this serious error. I called a slot attendant over and they did not seem to understand the game. I then went to a slot technician that knew the game had this setting. He stated that it was intentionally programmed this way and he thought it may have even been approved by gaming. What he did know for sure is that I was not the first one to notice this major issue with it. After talking with the slot technician I went back to the machine and the players told me in another hand the dealer had the same card as another player at the table.
Even if somehow gaming approved this rigging of the machine it is a serious problem. Everyone with any knowledge of Texas Holdem expects this game to be a single deck game. They expect that the cards that they get are unique and are not held by any other player at the table, especially the dealer. I plan on going to gaming on Monday about this as this is completely unacceptable.
On the same day a few months ago every Ultimate Texas Holdem machine I knew about in Las Vegas disappeared. This is the only one I that I know of that came back. This type of hand never showed up before the machines were pulled.
This is a warning to all players. If you are playing this game anywhere then you need to make sure it is only dealing a single deck. Even if you are playing Shuffle Master machines with a different game such as blackjack or Let it Ride you should be very concerned that this game is not dealing from a legitimate 52 card deck. It may mean that the machines can be altered to not resemble a 52 card deck.