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Best of Alan Krigman

Gaming Guru

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What's the difference between ties and pushes in casino gambling?

4 March 2013

Question: What's the difference between a "tie" and a "push" in casino gambling.

Answer: Ties refer to equal gambling values or scores. Pushes are "decisions" in which bets neither win nor lose. They sometimes coincide, but not always. And conditions not involving decisions aren't considered pushes, even though the bets don't win or lose.

Here are a few common illustrations.

In ordinary blackjack, when players and dealers have equal non-bust numerical totals, or both have natural blackjacks, hands tie and bets push. In double-exposure blackjack, there are no pushes. When ties occur with natural blackjacks, players win; when numerical totals tie with other hands, dealers win.

In baccarat, when Player and Banker have equal numerical scores, they tie and bets on them push. However, bettors wagering on "tie" win 8-to-1 under these circumstances.

Craps has many results which don't win or lose but aren't considered pushes. Picture a bet on the Pass Line. Say the shooter throws 10 on the come-out roll. No money is exchanged, but the bet can't be taken down; it's in action for subsequent throws with 10 as the point. Assume the next throw yields a six. The Pass Line bet, on the 10, just sits there. Neither of these situations is a push.

The slots tell another story. The most frequent returns, 1-for-1, give players their money back. Technically, they're pushes, but everyone considers them moral victories and calls them wi
Alan Krigman

Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.