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BlackjackInfo News: Issue 14 - January 1, 2003

In this issue:
1. European No Hole Card strategies available, finally!
2. A couple of online tournament wins: One for me, one for a friend
3. Cast your vote for the Blackjack Hall of Fame

1. European No Hole Card strategies available, finally!

It's been a long time between newsletters, about two and a half months. At least I got some work done. All you European and Australian players can now generate strategy charts that are accurate for your home games at the Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine.

The new option is 'Hole Card Rule:', and there are three available settings.

  • United States (OBO=Original Bets Only)
  • Europe (ENHC=European No Hole Card)
  • Australia (OBBO=Original and Busted Bets Only)

The abbreviations and description in parentheses tells you what bets are at risk to a dealer blackjack. In the US, the dealer normally peeks at his or her hole card before continuing play, which means that players never get a chance to double or split if the dealer has a blackjack. However, there are casinos in the US that either do not deal a hole card to the dealer, or do not peek prior to the round to check for blackjack. Still, in those casinos in the US, if you double or split, and the dealer later turns out to have a blackjack, the dealer will return any money you wagered other than your original bet. That's why the US rule is "OBO". Original Bets Only are at risk to a dealer blackjack.

In Australia, the dealers usually do not deal themselves a hole-card. Still, if you have multiple bets in play and the dealer turns out to have a blackjack, you'll get back all bets except the original bet. However, if you have busted a hand, those chips are already in the tray, and you won't get them back. Therefore, the Australian rule is called "OBBO", for Original and Busted Bets Only are at risk to a dealer blackjack. Compared to the US rule, the only difference is that you should no longer split 8s against a dealer Ten or Ace.

In most of Europe, the dealer does not get a hole-card, and ALL bets you place are at risk to a dealer blackjack. That means you should never double or split against a dealer ten or Ace, with one exception. The exception? Continue splitting Aces vs dealer 10. This rule is commonly known as European No Hole Card, and I've retained the "ENHC" designation at the Strategy Engine. This could also be described as "All Bets at Risk".

Last of all, thanks much to a helpful Australian subscriber, for making me aware of the OBBO rule in use down under.

2. A couple of online tournament wins: One for me, one for a friend

Several online blackjack tournaments continue to offer good value. I picked up a first place win at Intercasino in November. That was worth a cool $1000. In future events there, you can look for me using screen name 'icken'. Then, in December, a friend of mine (username 'Walt') picked up more than $800 for a first place finish in a blackjack tournament at William Hill Casino.

These are both Cryptologic-powered casinos, and the tournaments they offer have entry fees ranging from $5 to $20.

I've also been trying to make some money playing the Global Player tournament, but so far I've come up empty each time. During their most recent event, I would have advanced to the semi-finals easily, but I decided to try to catch an opponent who was $5 ahead of me for second place. I lost $6, then $12, then $25, then $50, then the rest of my bankroll. I re-bought three more times, and lost my entire bankroll each time. That turned out to be an expensive $6 bet! Still, I'd make the same choice again. While it didn't work out that time, you won't usually lose 5 hands in a row when you're in that situation!

3. Cast your vote for the Blackjack Hall of Fame

Huntington Press, the publishers of Las Vegas Advisor, are holding a poll on their website to select the first 7 inductees into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

You can read all about it, and cast your 7 votes, at the Huntington Press web site.

That's it for now. Best of luck, online and off! -Ken-

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