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BlackjackInfo News: Issue 18 - October 17, 2003

This Issue includes:

Blackjack in the Media

This week has seen an unusual amount of blackjack coverage in the media, from newspapers to cable TV.

CourtTV aired an episode of their show 'The System' titled "Taking Vegas" on Thursday October 16th, and it is scheduled to be shown again on Sunday October 19th at 11 PM Eastern Time. The subject is the now-famous MIT Blackjack Team, described in Ben Mezrich's book Bringing Down the House.

Three newspaper articles available on the Web cover a recent "Green Chip" gathering of advantage blackjack players. Read more in these three articles:

(Thanks to Las Vegas Advisor for mentioning these in their excellent newsletter.)

New Articles in the Blackjack Tournament Corner

One of the things keeping me busy these days has been a complete reworking of BlackjackInfo's Tournament Corner, which now features several in-depth articles about blackjack tournament strategy. Be sure to check those out, and there are more tips on the way.

Some of the information there is not available anywhere in print. Finally, I think that part of the site is worthy of your bookmarks.

A new casino recommendation

Cherry Casino is BlackjackInfo's newest sponsor. They're a no-download casino featuring software from Net Entertainment.
These guys get a strong recommendation from me for three reasons:

  • Lightning Fast Payouts: My last cash-in hit my Neteller account in about six hours.
  • Monthly Bonuses: $30 bonus on $100 deposit, month after month.
  • Tournaments: They have free percentage-based tournaments, so you don't have to bet a lot to win.

From the Mailbag: Why is 6-deck blackjack worse than single deck?

As you might expect, I get a lot of blackjack questions via email. Starting with this issue, I plan to pass along answers to some of the most common queries I get. We're beginning with a popular question...

Since the ratio of cards is the same in 6 decks as in 1 deck, why is it worse for the player to play against 6 decks? Shouldn't it be the same?

Well, for one thing, the player will get more blackjacks in a single deck game! Of course that seems even more peculiar if you consider that the ratio of cards is the same no matter how many decks are in play, right?

The explanation lies in the "effect of removal". Consider a single-deck game, where you've just been dealt an Ace as your first card. OK, what are the chances your second card will be a ten or face-card to complete your blackjack? Ignoring the dealer's upcard, there are 16 ten-value cards left in the 51-card deck, so your chances are 16/51, or about 0.31373. If you're playing a six-deck shoe instead, there are 96 ten-values cards left in the 311-card deck, and your chances are slightly lower at 96/311 or 0.30868.

The same effect makes it more likely you'll catch a ten on your double-downs in single deck. As long as all other things are equal, those single deck games are a better bet.

Be careful these days, since many casinos are offering terrible single deck games paying only 6:5 or even money on blackjack. I've mentioned those in a previous issue.

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