Archive for the ‘Blackjack’ Category

Ken Smith on Gambling With an Edge Podcast

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Gambling with an Edge

Earlier this year, I was the guest on the Gambling With an Edge radio show in Las Vegas. I mentioned it in the BlackjackInfo email newsletter, but I just realized that it never got posted here on the blog.

The show includes a couple of stories that I think BlackjackInfo visitors will find interesting. I describe one play where I won over $100,000 on a single hand of cards, and another play at a 2:1 blackjack promotion that yielded a big profit along with an uncomfortable situation.

You can listen to the show, and see more details at Gambling With an Edge.

Learning Card Counting Indexes? Don’t Make This Mistake

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Index Numbers

Once you have basic strategy committed to memory, and you have learned to count cards and vary your bet, the next step in fine-tuning your game is to add strategy variations using index numbers.

When I first began to learn about strategy variations, I found them confusing.  Based on the number of emails I get on the topic, I know that I am not the only one.

I was especially confused about the way indexes are presented.  I thought I could see a better way.  But eventually I switched to the standard method, and it definitely has its benefits.

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Blackjack Player Sues After Losing $500,000 While Drunk

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Martini

For players, free drinks are an important part of the casino experience. For casinos, serving free cocktails generates a nice return on investment.

This week, a 52 year old California man filed suit against the Downtown Grand Casino in Las Vegas, alleging that the casino continued serving him drinks and extending gambling credit to him after he was obviously intoxicated. He went on to sign markers for $500,000 and lost it all, not realizing how much he had lost until he awoke the following day.
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Double Down on a 6:5 Blackjack? Read This First…

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Bad Choice

The plague of 6:5 blackjack has been well documented here. (See 6 to 5 Blackjack? Just say No! and The Casino Floor as a Minefield.) If you have any other game choices available, you should not be playing a game that pays only 6:5 on blackjack.

Yet some players do play these games. Don’t worry, I’m not going to chastise you if you sometimes play these games. But I do want to make sure that you are not making a bad game even worse…

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16vT: RS WTF?!

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Equations

Forgive the cryptic title. I couldn’t resist.  So, what does it mean?  16vT is shorthand for the player hand of sixteen against a dealer upcard of Ten.   “RS” is a strategy abbreviation.  “R” means SuRRender, and “S” means Stand.  So, “RS” means Surrender if you can, otherwise Stand.

And of course, WTF is an abbreviation of the message I often get via email when someone thinks they have found a mistake in the strategy provided by my Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine.

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The Casino Floor as a Minefield

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Mine Field

Despite the weak economy, many states are experiencing an expansion of gambling. Particularly in the Eastern US, new casinos have opened in state after state, and table games have appeared in previously slots-only casinos.

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Why Splitting Tens is a Bad Move

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Pair of 10s

Among my recent emails from players, I have several on the topic of splitting tens.  One player mentioned that he seems to win more often than not when splitting tens against a dealer 5 or 6, so he was wondering if the play could be justified. Actually, his basic assertion is correct. You will win more often than not when splitting tens in those situations. But, winning more than 50% of the time is only part of the story.

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Blackjack Surrender Explained

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Surrender Flag

Among the many questions I answer by email, blackjack surrender is a common topic. Because surrender is not offered at all casinos, and is rarely advertised or posted even when it is available, many beginning players don’t know much about it.

In this article, I’ll explain exactly what Surrender is, what the two variations are, and when you should utilize this option. (more…)

The Most Common Myth in Blackjack

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Blackjack table

In this new series on the Myths of Blackjack, I’m starting with the most common myth surrounding the game.

The conversation usually goes like this…

Interested Player: So, you play blackjack, huh?

Ken: Yeah, I’ve played a lot of blackjack over the years.

Interested Player: You know what really drives me crazy about blackjack? …

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RFID Casino Chips

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Casino Cashier

A recent G2E conference session in Las Vegas gave me a chance to hear industry insiders talk about the current usage of RFID (Radio Frequency ID) technology inside casinos.  This technology uses radio tags embedded in casino chips to authenticate the chips, and to enable more accurate data gathering on the casino floor.  The idea has been around for a number of years now, with Wynn Las Vegas using the system since 2005.  In the years since, the technology has slowly improved and more casinos have begun to use the chips.  An expert speaker at the conference indicated that perhaps 40 casinos in the US are currently utilizing radio-enabled chips.

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