The activity director at the local chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) wishes to take a group of members to Las Vegas for a weekend “get away.” In addition to sightseeing, the director knows many members will want to play slot machines and card games. The initial conversation with the director indicated there is a desire from the members to learn the card game “Black Jack.” The director is concerned because most members are on a fixed income, and she is worried that they may lose too much money.
The challenge is to find ways which will help AARP members learn a new card game while minimizing their risk of losing money.
The goal is to help AARP members learn the game of Black Jack, understand some of the basic strategies, and provide an avenue for practice and feedback on their progress.
These are members of the American Association for Retired Persons. All are over the age of 62. Sixty five percent are women. Most are somewhat affluent. Many have played card games.
People to interview include the activity director of AARP, members of the organization, and possibly workers from some of the local casinos.
Extant data available include books and web sites that may have card game strategy, software available to practice Black Jack, and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce to identify techniques different casinos use.
The director has identified two priorities. First, members are to enjoy their trip to Las Vegas (indicating that she wants the membership to take advantage of the unique benefits of the town). Second, she wants to ensure that members don’t lose too much money playing card games. Members need to know the rules of the game such as when to “stand,” when to “hit,” and when to “fold.” Because the game of Black Jack is simple to learn, she has indicated that this might be a good game to teach the AARP membership.
Discussions with two members of AARP indicate that they will feel satisfied if they leave Las Vegas with more money than they started with.
Extant resources found for users to learn strategies for “Black Jack” include “Bet on it! The ultimate guide to Nevada” by Mary Jane & Greg Edwards. Materials detailing Black Jack strategy is found on the World Wide Web at http://bandwidth.engin.umich.edu:8080 /cgibin/Fritx/runpl/Nexus9/blckjack.html
John White Feather was contacted at Barona casino, but is currently out of town.
The director has not taken any members to Las Vegas, but she herself has traveled there. Two AARP members who were contacted have both been to Las Vegas, but have not done any gambling other than playing the slot machines. Both expressed a desire to play card games but are concerned about losing too much money. Each is on a fixed income and both state they cannot afford losing more than $100 while on their weekend excursion. Both had knowledge of bridge, and felt they could easily learn Black Jack if given instruction, help, and incentive to practice.
A shareware version of the game “Black Jack” is available at http://www.websolutions.mb.ca/realm/bjack.html.
The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce did not supply any information on individual casinos.
The main barrier will be to find methods for AARP members to understand the structure of Black Jack and to learn relevant strategies.
Some members may be reluctant to quit when they are losing money. Controls may need to be set which will limit their losses.
Members may be intimidated at the thought of learning a new skill that is based on mathematics.
Help members remember basic rules of Black Jack. An instructional unit should be developed. (Instruction)
Show players when to “Stand,” “Hit,” “Split” or “Double” with a help sheet. (Job Aid)
Teach players how to interpret their job aid. (Instruction)
Allow practice with a shareware version of Black Jack on the AARP computer. (Confidence)
Hold a gambling event two weeks prior to going to Las Vegas to allow members to practice before taking the trip. (Incentive).
Source: Performance Needs Assessment
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