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S06.E02: Fiddler's Fart

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Great episode! I was cheering for everyone! 

The campsite challenge was well done, requiring a good attention to detail. 

The gold coin challenge was fun, and I loved how teams found the express pass.

those Can Can dancers must of been tired by the end ! What good sports.

and I was happy to see it was a non elimination leg. 

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Yeah a great episode.  Lots of fun challenges, and the product placement wasn't too bad, especially for an attention to detail task.

I wonder if giving up their backpack will mess that other team up in the future. 

The gold coin tasks were a good scavenger hunt; when they went up to the graveyard I was sure they were getting a Lost Bong but it turned out to be correct. I assume it was the furthest waypoint so it had the simplest express pass. The others had some legit time wasters/attention to details to make the pass worth it.

I loved seeing so much of the Can-Can dancers; I wish more teams had stuck it out, but the ones that did clearly had fun.

I am a blackjack player so I'd do Chance regardless. Blackjack is fun but it does have a lot of details, and dealing it would be a challenge, especially if you aren't familiar with the game. If I were racing with my mom, she'd probably still be dealing. :) Good thing it didn't have any side games active, or none of the racers would probably be done.

I'm a little disappointed that it is non-elim, but they don't usually eliminate in the corners of the races. 

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This leg was better for me, the tasks had more variety and some mental challenge.  Hard to believe to me so many would struggle with blackjack/pontoon, all the cards were in front of them I thought.  Happy with the non-elimination.  Not so happy about the 3 express passes, one would be enough.

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I loved how the tasks were challenging enough that it mixed up the order of teams.  I love playing cards, but I think I would suck at dealing.  The dance looked fun, though.  I've never seen a Race with more than 2 express passes.  Hmmm. 


Very happy with the non-elimination.  Love Monica and Zainab--they are pretty good racers and wow--gorgeous! 

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1 hour ago, amazingracefan said:

This leg was better for me, the tasks had more variety and some mental challenge.  Hard to believe to me so many would struggle with blackjack/pontoon, all the cards were in front of them I thought.  Happy with the non-elimination.  Not so happy about the 3 express passes, one would be enough.

I'm not surprised that they had trouble dealing blackjack.

First it was the 3rd task of 3 that day, after a longish flight, so mentally they probably weren't fully there. Then there's the pressure of the race and trying not to be last/to  beat the other teams, especially later on. And most of them didn't seem familiar with Blackjack beyond the very basics. So learning the dealing of the game is another surprisingly hard mental task. And counting up to 21 can be surprisingly difficult when you have more than 3 cards. I've played BJ alot, and I've tripped more than one dealer up by miscounting myself.


For those that don't know how it works, with a full BJ table the dealer does the following (and they have to be done in this order; on some tables it may change very slightly):

  • Closes bets, no more bets.
  • Deals one card to each player face up, starting closest to the shoe (the deck holder where cards are dealt from). Interacting with the players ("Good luck on your ace" is optional)
  • Deals themselves one card face up.
  • Deals the players their second card face up.
  • Tucks the dealer's second card face down. (one racer messed that up at least once)
  • If Dealer shows an Ace, they ask if anyone wants insurance. 
    • If a player has blackjack, the player may ask for even money at that point, if the table allows it. That may also happen if the dealer has a 10 showing. 
      • If the player takes even money, the dealer pays out (puts chips down equal to the player's bet) and collects their cards
    • After closing insurance, they peek at the face down card, if it's a 10, dealer has blackjack.
      • If a player bought insurance, dealer pays it out even odds (puts chips down equal to what insurance was)
      • Dealer collects the remaining cards and bets. If a player has blackjack as well and didn't take even money, their bet stays on the table.
    • If the dealer doesn't have blackjack, they collect the insurance bets (if any) and play continues
  • If the dealer instead shows a 10 or face, they will peek at the hole card. If a player has blackjack they may ask for even money at that time.
    • If the hole card is an Ace, the dealer has blackjack, they collect the bets and cards; hand is over. Insurance is not allowed in this case.
  • If a player has Blackjack at this point (and dealer doesn't have Ace or Face), they will be paid out. They usually get paid 3 to 2. So they get their bet doubled, then half their bet. A 20$ bet will give a player 50$ for example. Usually shown as a stack of chips equal to what they have on their spot, and the half stacked on top between the towers. (The pit boss seemed to be encouraging racers to pay chips properly)
  • The hand continues, starting with the player closest to the deck. Player decides to hit, split, double down, or stay. (I suspect these players were instructed not to split or double down) Usually the player will have to make a hand gesture so the Eyes in the Sky can follow the game. (Split fingers for Split. One finger for double, tap table for hit, wave for stay)
    • Split means they split a pair of cards with a bet on each one. Each card is now a new hand for that player. Play continues with the player's rightmost card first. Aces usually can only be split once (sucks one hand is now a 12 but dems the breaks; otherwise you can keep splitting. I've seen 4 and even a 6 card split once IIRC.)
    • Doubledown means the player doubles their bet and asks for 1 card.
    • Hit means they are asking for a card. They may continue hitting until they bust (get over 21) or want to stay.
    • Stay means they don't want any more cards.
  • If a player busts, their bet and cards are collected; they are done with that hand. (if they split they then play the next hand of the split)
  • If a player stays, they are now waiting for the other players to finish and the dealer to show their hand.
  • The rest of the players do the same. 
  • When it is the dealer's turn, they turn their face down card face up. If the cards faceup total 16 or less, or are an Ace and a 6 (A "soft seventeen"), they have to hit (take another card). If the dealer busts, everyone left wins. If the dealer gets above 17 (or has a hard seventeen without an Ace), then anyone with cards above the dealer's total win.
  • Starting at the dealer's left ( closest to the shoe), the dealer pays or scoops.
    • If the player is under the dealer's total, their bet is scooped.
    • If the player is equal to the dealer, their bet is left (many racers messed this up)
    • If the player is above the dealer (and under 21), their bet is paid out 2-1 (So a 20$ bet becomes 40$ back), by the dealer putting stacks of chips equal to their current bet next to the bet. (So the eye in the sky can verify it was correctly paid out). Only Ace + Face/Ten count as blackjack and get extra money; 21's any other way just get even (2-1) odds.
  • Once all the money is resolved, the dealer scoops up the cards, puts them in the burn pile for reshuffling later, and bets are open for the next hand. 


So that's what the Racers had to learn on the fly just from watching the other dealers in the casino. As I said, when you start getting 4+ cards on the table, you often start miscounting the totals too and can make it difficult to be sure who won and lost if you aren't counting carefully. If you aren't already a regular blackjack player (or any casino card game player since the basic flow is the same for most card games), it can be difficult to pick up and do it in a pressure situation. 


From what I saw last night, the racers most often messed up:

  • The deal (giving themselves 2 face up cards) or giving cards in the wrong order
  • The counts (miscounting their own total, or another player's total)
  • Hitting too often. (taking an extra card when they're already 17+ showing)
  • Handling ties.

Paying out bets didn't seem to be much of a problem in the end, other than when they messed up due to something else (ie paying a losing hand)


Since the deck didn't seem stacked, the cards were probably all properly randomized for each racer. So by luck some racers may have had an easier hand than others; but ultimately if they are careful and attentive, it shouldn't have been too difficult for them to sort out eventually. 

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I don't mind the three express passes at the moment.  Instead of giving one team a big advantage, it spreads the advantages out.  I also like that the teams had to find their own express passes - none of that "give a pass to another team" nonsense.  We'll see how it plays out.  Maybe I'll chance my mind.

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11 hours ago, SnideAsides said:

Basically what I've gotten from this season so far is that even though Jon Montgomery will still demonstrate a lot of this show's stupidest challenges, even he draws the line at doing a cancan.

I really wanted to see him try!

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On 2018-07-11 at 2:14 PM, gryphon said:

I've never seen a Race with more than 2 express passes.  Hmmm. 

Team Giver won all 3 last season. At least they're spread out this time.

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