5Dimes Blackjack Tournaments
Frequently Asked Questions
This document contains relevant Questions & Answers to help you in assisting players and in making their blackjack experience easier and more enjoyable. It provides relevant information that covers blackjack assistance necessary for both beginners and experienced players.
Q: How do you shuffle cards to ensure fairness?
A: We use an industry standard random number generator that produces highly randomized numbers. These random numbers are converted to numbers between 1 and 52, representing the cards in a deck. Each game played draws a new deck of cards. You will not see any difference between the results of our shuffling and the shuffling by a professional card dealer. The method of generating random numbers along with the distribution of decks among the various games being played at any time, along with randomly thrown away decks ensures that cards are not predictable.
Q: How does the Random Number Generator Work?
A: We use the random number generator (RNG) available from the Linux operating system. This is an entropy based RNG.
The random number generator uses (collects) noise from the system, device drivers and other sources such as network activity and CPU utilization, into an entropy pool. From this entropy pool random numbers are created. Linux provides the /dev/random device. Reading this device from code provides random numbers.
Our approach is to take seeds from that pool on a periodic basis. These seeds serve as the starting number for an elementary cellular automaton. A cellular automaton in our case is an array of binary values. A complex rule for state transitions creates new random numbers from the seed value. We use a rule known to produce randomness. "Rule 30 is of special interest because it is chaotic … this rule is used as the random number generator used for large integers in Mathematica."
Once we have that seed, we produce random number through the state transitions of the cellular automaton. Our cellular automaton has 256 bits. We take the additional step of randomly selecting one (1) bit from each of the successive 255 rows (states) to produce our random numbers.
Our random number generator passed two (2) standard tests: the Diehard and the ENT tests. More importantly, we our code has been inspected and certified by an independent testing lab specializing in the analysis, review, and certification of software for gaming and cryptology.
Q: How does shuffling work?
A: A random number generator is only part of the story in producing randomly distributed decks of cards. How the deck is shuffled is equally important. We have selected an algorithm (process) that ensures a true randomizing shuffle. This approach does not favor any one card or any one position in the deck.
We then assign each card a 256 bit random number. This very large number is greater than 1 with 77 zeros after it. With each card given its own huge random number, we sort the deck by those random numbers, placing the cards in yet another random sequence. This algorithm also ensures that every possible card sequence is theoretically equally likely to occur.
Q: Do you employ any additional tools to ensure the cards are random?
A: Our approach relies on well-accepted random number generation tools, relying on system entropy to generate random seeds. We then use a system known to generate randomly distributed numbers from the seed number. As a further security step, we periodically select a new seed. Our decks are randomized prior to first use, and then serve as the random base from which a randomizing shuffle is applied.
Q: Can I test drive your blackjack room?
A: Absolutely. There is no charge for downloading our software. We offer play money tables where you can try out our blackjack room at no cost. You can learn more about our blackjack room on this web site. In the software, you can click on 'Single Tournaments' or 'Multi Tournaments' then look for 'Play For Free' game type to identify the different tables and game types that we offer.
Q: How many players can play together at once?
A: We have two, six and eight seat tables available at this time.
Q: What happens if there's a tie?
A: If the game proceeds to the 10th round and both players have a chip stack of the exact same value, the pot is split evenly. If there is an extra cent which cannot be split, it will go to the player closest to the left of the dealer chip.
Q: How are split pots handled?
A: We calculate splits in real money games to the nearest even split, down to the cent if needed.
Q: I've never played blackjack online before. How can I learn where to begin?
A: We have a lot of information on our web site, including a tour of our blackjack room, to help you get started. Our web site also has references to other sites where further information is available. Please look around our web site. You can also contact us and ask for more information, or ask specific questions. Our hosts are always happy to help explain our blackjack room and the rules of blackjack.
Q: Okay, I've registered, now, how do I pick a table?
A: To begin playing blackjack, you should click on the tab in the lobby labeled "Single Tables" or "Multi Tables". In that view, you will see the games we offer, a list of tables for each game type, along with the characteristics of each table (real/play chips, entrance fees, rounds, min/max players, etc.). Select the table you want to join and click the Join button. Read the Helpful Hints and sit down by clicking on any open seat.
Q: Do you give out any of the information you collect about me?
A: The blackjack room will not sell information collected from players and will not share it except with its blackjack partners: the sponsor and the cage.
Q: What kind of computer can I use to play Blackjack?
A: We currently support all standard versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 98 onwards. We also support MacOS and UNIX platforms. And do not worry if your computer is slow or old, we have tested our blackjack client on all sorts of machines and everything works just fine.
Q: How much memory should my computer have?
A: We have successfully run client on Windows 98 on first generation Pentium running at 133 MHz with 48Mb RAM. While the blackjack room software does not require much memory, older and slower systems can sometimes experience problems if you are trying to run other application at the same time.
Q: What color settings can be supported?
A: You will need a system that supports 800x600 graphics settings and must use High Color (16 bits) settings or greater.
Q: How much available disk space do I need?
A: Your hard drive must also have 15mbs of free space to install the client.
Q: What kind of browser can I use to play Blackjack?
A: We support Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla FireFox, AOL and Safari.
Q: I can download the software but it will not run on my PC?
A: Some PC's have firewalls and anti-virus software that prevent running certain programs. If you are in work or at a network environment you may also have proxy servers running, which prevent access to certain programs. In the event that you do not have administrative rights on your PC, you would have to request them to an IT Manager to allow our program to run on your PC.
Q: Why do I sometimes experience a slow connection?
A: Our Blackjack servers are located in a secure Internet data center in Costa Rica with sufficient bandwidth for a very large number of users. However, some ISP connections may require many hops (network jumps) or may use a congested peering exchange. We regret that we have no control over these issues.
Features and Options
Q: Where are my hand histories?
A: Hand history is an archive of your recently played hands that you can use to analyze your play, hopefully leading to an overall improvement in your game play and bank balance. You can view your hand history for the last 20 tourneys played.
Q: How do I see table chat?
A: We placed the table chat on the button right side corner of the screen.
Q: How do I chat with other players?
A: You may chat with other players at any table. To chat at a table, type in the white background bar and then click on send to post the phrase to all players.
Q: I want to change my screen name. Why can't I?
A: We want all players to be able to recognize one another, much in the same way that you would be able to recognize the faces of other players in a physical blackjack room. Your screen name is your permanent face in a virtual blackjack room. Disallowing screen name changes helps keep a fair playing environment. To that end, we do not permit players to change screen names.
Q: What do I do if the table I want to play at is full?
A: You can join the next available table.
Q: Can I play at more than one table?
A: We permit you to play at up to four (4) tables. When you first play at our blackjack room, we recommend you start out at only one table, until you get accustomed to how things work. When you play at two tables, we strongly urge you to use the advance action buttons, where possible, to keep the pace of the games moving for all concerned. If you intend to play at more than one table, be sure you have adequate chips on account to pay both entrances fees.
Q: Can I move seats while playing if my favorite seat is open?
A: Our site employs an advanced Random Number Generator (RNG), which ensures that no seat will ever have a favorable advantage over others. In Single of Multi-table tournaments we do not permit the player to choose to move seats as this could be used to create an unfair advantage over others.
Q: Do you Burn Cards?
A: The burning of cards is a time-honored tradition in physical casinos to protect players against marked cards. In a virtual blackjack room the burning of cards is a visual flourish that is not necessary. We do not burn cards.
Q: Am I playing against real people or a computer?
A: All the players you play against are real people. We do not use computer players or "bots".
Q: How do I contact a host?
A: There is a button labeled HOST which when clicked opens a customer service representative chat window. You will be able to chat directly and privately with a host.
Q: What is the Advance button I see sometimes at the bottom of the table?
A: We offer Act Ahead choices that allow you to indicate your decision prior to your turn. You can use this Act Ahead button to speed the game and when you know what you want to do next. This box will display the Action buttons with the options you will have, depending on the current situation, when it becomes your turn. Once it is your turn, the Action buttons replace the Advance Play button. For example, in a "Sit n' Go" table game, in the first round, the player holding the first base is posting his bet of the minimum allowed of 100 chips. You are seated several players behind. Depending on the speed of the next few players, you may see the Advance Play button. Click on it to launch the Action buttons with the options of Bet Max Last Clear, press Max and the maximum bet amount will be posted, press Clear to erase you intended bet or press on Last to post your last bet amount. After using any of this buttons press Bet to tell the blackjack room that is the action you want to take.
Q: If I lose my connection, what happens?
A: Our system monitors the connectivity of all players seated at game tables. When this occurs, or if you experience a broken connection due to another cause, the game will wait a reasonable amount of time for your connection to be re-established. It will also alert you and wait a reasonable amount of time for you, should you experience a slow connection, or a distraction at home. The player may re-enter by going back to the lobby and reconnecting to the game. The player will pick up the game in progress when he re-enters. If you cannot or do not respond, the software will automatically continue to make the minimum bet for you and will always hit on 11 or under and will always stand on 12 or over. The player will be marked as offline as well. Of course, it is poor etiquette to deliberately slow a game down.
Q: How do I convert from play money only to betting with real money?
A: If you joined us as a play money player and would like to begin betting real money, the process is a simple one.
1. Log in at 5Dimes with the same username and password.
2. In the Lobby view, click on the Cashier tab.
3. At the Cashier click on "Make Deposit" and follow the instructions at that location.
4. We will check your account and show you the current balance. You should note that it often takes several minutes for your initial deposit to be posted to your Account.
Q: How do I get my money out of the blackjack room?
A: You cash out from the cage. Money in the blackjack room is returned to the cage for you whenever a tournament finished.
Q: How long will it be before my money arrives?
A: Transfers between the blackjack room and your 5Dimes account is usually instantaneous. From there, times will vary on what redemption method you choose.
Q: Can I transfer money to another player?
A: You may not transfer money between cage accounts. Dumping of chips from one player to another at a tournament, or intentionally allowing another player to win the tournament to use this as a money transfer system, is not permitted.
Q: How do you handle my play chips?
A: We keep your play chips on account in our system. Each time you sit at a table, remember, we let you play at four single tables simultaneously, you are asked to pay the entrance fees. At a Multi-table you will see a pop-up cashier window where you can accept or denied the payment of the entrance fees. As you are permitted to sit at four (4) single tables, you may want to save some chips for another table. If your total play chip count falls below 11, you can contact a Host and request more. When a tournament is over, earned chips are returned to your account. They are then available for use at another single or multi table tournament, or when you next visit the blackjack room.
Q: How do I get more play chips if I have almost run out of chips?
A: You may request more play chips if your total play chip count falls below 11, lower entrance fee, you can contact a Host and request more and your play money account will be topped off at 220 chips.
Cheating and Fraud
Q: I believe I was cheated. What do I do?
A: We take cheating very seriously. If you believe other players at yours or at any table were colluding (playing together) you should use the Call HOST button to report the problem immediately. If you prefer to send email, include your screen name and the game number of the game, or the table name and time and date when you believe the cheating occurred to (email address). You may also request the hand history to review the game yourself. You may want to do this first. Also see the FAQ on Cheating and Fraud.
Q: What is dumping?
A: Dumping is an effort by two or more players to shift chips across accounts intentionally allowing one of the players to win the tournament. This type of action is generally associated with a money transfer system including money laundry which is an illegal behavior. Our software monitors for such dumping, and we will fully cooperate with the appropriate authorities in the event that illegal behavior is detected.
Q: What happens to players caught cheating?
A: We don't tolerate cheating. We will suspend or ban players caught cheating, at our complete and total discretion. Our goal is to provide a fair and fun environment, and cheaters obviously detract from this. The blackjack room and cage reserve the right to freeze chips associated with questionable behavior, pending the outcome of an investigation. In all cases, we will expedite such investigations so as to not greatly inconvenience players who have not engaged in some form of cheating.
Q: How can I be sure this blackjack room treats all players equally and fairly?
A: The Blackjack Room is operated by 5Dimes, a well-established, internationally renowned gaming company. Having the backing of 5Dimes is your assurance of a fairly operated blackjack room and the proper handling of your money. The software was designed and developed to ensure the highest standard of integrity. The blackjack room is actively managed, 7x24, to respond to players attempting to behave improperly. The software is designed to automatically detect improper activity.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact 5Dimes Customer Service via Live Help, email or call 1-800-430-5896 for further details.
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