Exactly my thought. But the change is more than just variance. I mean I can’t win a hand. It’s “down goes Frazier before the 3rd deck is played.”
I’m not suggesting cheating. However, I read about dealing seconds etc. etc. If it ever happens? I can’t see it. Sometimes there is a fumbling off the cards…too often for some dealers.
I would argue that it MAY just be variance. BUT I would want to rule out cheating. There is nothing wrong with proactively being on the look out for cheating and when you are uncomfortable about play, trying to rule that out.
I too had a rough post covid go of it. When casino re-opened, I decided to bump up in stakes. Usually the stakes I played is determined by what I have determined is well tolerated by each casino and each situation. With all that was going on post covid, I thought it would be the perfect time to bump up in stakes as casino personnel would be busy with new covid related responsivities and duties and this would allow me to increase and make up for lost EV. And that part worked well.
What didn’t work well, was that just as I increased, I started losing. Big time. Nearly 30k, at one casino at a “point just south” < lol, of the strip. So much so that my first reaction was that I was being cheated and I even started screaming that right here on this forum.
Well, a little investigating and making myself available to watch the opening of tables, plus some continuing play in which I was able to win a little of that money back, convinced me that I had panicked and jumped to the wrong conclusion. Negative variance had just hit and crushed me just as I increased stakes. And being the smaller sample size of this covid year, that resulted in my worst year of 12 in Las Vegas. A slightly winning year still, but far below expectation. It was just in fact variance.
Now you and I have had “discussions” about variance. You playing single deck have not experienced the kind of variance I have. Maybe, just maybe it caught up to you at this unusual time, But that said, you should so what you can to rule out cheating.
personally, I have never liked the handheld games because of the possibilities of dealing seconds and such. It also isn’t what I learned in Atlantic Cities, so I have always gravitated towards the shoe games. Even most double deck games that I play are dealt from a shoe, although I do play a few handheld. But if for whatever reason, imaginary or real, I am uncomfortable with some results, I stop playing that game until I can prove or convince myself it is all good.
Bottom line, what your talking about, several months post covid is a small sample size. Don’t let your mind “trick” you into believing it is something that it isn’t. But for sure, investigate to rule anything out.
Hopefully a better and more normal 2021 for us all.