benjamin eckstein battle business

Benjamin Eckstein’s Battle Business


Not talking tanks, mortars and bullets, but cards. Went down to a dealer’s school yesterday to do a little research, and found out that the casinos now have my favorite card game from childhood, WAR!

Yeah, that war. You remember. Sit down and each player gets half the deck, then you start turning over cards. When you match, it’s WAR, BAABBBEEE! Then you bury three cards, turn up the fourth, and whoever is higher wins. CLASSIC!

Well, it’s kinda the same deal at the casino. With a few tweaks. If your card is higher than the dealer, obviously you win. If the dealer is higher, they win. But when you match, there are two options. The player can surrender, in which case you lose half the bet. Or, you can go to WAR, but you have to double your bet.

If you wanna go to war, there are rules. The dealer burns three cards before dealing out another to the player and themselves. If your card is higher than the dealer, you win, but only the original amount of your wager. If the dealer is higher, you lose it all. If it’s a tie, then you win it all.

And when you sit down on your couch, lemme tell you there is a sweet little side bet where you can wager on a tie at 10/1 odds. As the great Edwin Starr sang, “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” LOVE Edwin, but have to disagree. Casino War is absolutely worth going to battle!


First up, a little afternoon baseball for you. As long as he doesn’t cut his hair, we’re gonna roll with Adrian Sampson and the Cubs over the Reds. Sampson has been quite a find for the Cubbies and one of the reasons that they’ve won eight of the last nine. In particular, Sampson’s last four starts have been close to perfection. He threw 24 innings and allowed only three earned runs for a svelte 1.13 ERA.

We love the way Chicago is closing the season, but can’t say the same about Cincy. The Reds have dropped six of their last seven, and 16 of the last 20. Heard a rumor that their golf clubs are already in the clubhouse. Cash is down hard on the Cubbies.

We were gonna take an extended look at the Blue Jays with Alek Manoah tonight, but when the Orioles lost yesterday, the Jays clinched a wild-card spot. Since they might start to rest some players, we’ll take a pass.

Looking to keep the winning streak going, stepping into the college football world and will roll with Kansas +3.5 points over Iowa State. When you look at the Kansas record, 4-0 straight up and against the spread, you might think, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

If you had Kansas at FOUR & OH before the season started, bravo. I did not. However, the new regime led by Lance Leipold has started to rock. Who is this guy Leipold? I’ll tell ya. He was the head coach at Wisconsin-Whitewater from 2007 to 2014, and posted a SICK 109-6 record. That’s ONE HUNDRED NINE & SIX in case you didn’t hear me.

He won FIVE Division III national championships and turned around a lousy Buffalo program before leaving for Lawrence. Sure he was only 2-10 last season, but he inherited, as we say around my house, BUPKIS! Which means nothing, or something totally worthless. But the new Kansas kids have scored 194 points in four games. You know who else has that many? Only Michigan (200), Ohio State (195), Tennessee (194) and Alabama (193) live in that neighborhood. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, baabbbeee!!!

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email... [email protected].

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