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  • Reading all of this right now and I must ask 2 questions:

    1. This one seems obvious for me but either way: Gambling with these odds and this little money seems to be a waste of time compared to just working. But for me if I go to a Casino I want to play with the best odds at least and have some influence over the game so yeah.
    So the question: Is it even worth it in your opinion to invest months of time learning and playing BlackJack for that amount of money? (If it really just is the money you want)

    2. The more important question for me: I haven’t found a table with <$10 yet and am not playing with more than $100
    I know that's not a lot but that's what I can (easily) spare for gambling.
    At the live dealer machine the minimum would be $5 but no way to count right? also the game can be predetermined beforehand. So machine isn't worth it right?

    So how would you advice me to handle my moneymanagement as playing with a minimum of $10 would bring me to bets I couldn't even do if it were 6 or higher TC.

    Also: The dealers shuffle the decks again after using 1/2-1 deck.

    Taking your advice I'm not fit to play the game at all under these conditions if I understand everything correctly.

    But honestly I cannot imagine that everybody reading this has a payroll high enough to be able to easily spend $3000 (which you should be willing to if you start this game seriously if I understand this article correctly (or at least something in the area of $1000)).

    Also I cannot imagine that most Casinos wouldn't reshuffle after the approximate amount of cards for 1 deck is played.
    (At least I haven't seen it happen).

    Sidequestion: How do I know how many decks are played, asking the dealer would be suspicious right?

    I'd be happy for any advice on this!
    As far as I'm concerned I'll stick to play basic strategy and try to see it as entertainment since I do not see me winning (or winning enough) in the long run. But for the sake of optimising my play I'd still like to hear your advice 🙂


  • Hello.
    A local casino nearby has some odd rules in this regarding: 6D, S17, double any, re-split except As, double after split, no peak.
    Surrender is allowed except against As since there is no peak by the dealer. I wonder how should I set the Basic Strategy Engine?. With early surrender or late?.

    Thanks for ur answer… regards…

  • Vigilant conservative said:
    (Posted to: Blackjack Tournament Strategy)

    Ken, I greatly appreciate your insight. Tournament question: 20 hands, 5 players, top 2 advance. Starting bankroll 25k. Minimum bet 500. Quarterfinal round. I had a horrible run, losing 14 of the first 16 hands, plus a double down and both ends of a split. The best hand I had / made was 17. Anyway, On the 17th hand, I was down 9500. The other 4 players had over 30k each, so I went all in, received a 15 vs 9 and busted. Looking back, I’m wondering if going all in was the proper play, considering that things get crazy on the last few hands, and maybe I could’ve waited until the last 3 hands to make a move. The top 2 were advancing, so now I’m second guessing myself as to whether I could have snuck in there under the wire on the last hand. Did I make the right play? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    • I don’t check in much here any more. These kinds of questions will get quicker answers over at

      I will assume that you were around $20K bank, down $9500 from the other 4 players around $30K. With only 4 hands to go, it’s not at all unreasonable to go all in here, especially if most of the other players have small to medium size bets working. If on the other hand, they ALL bet big, I would make at least one more small bet.

      But in this situation, you are very likely to need to win a big bet soon to have a shot. If they are giving you an opportunity to make up a lot of ground even if everyone at the table gets paid, take it.

    • No, the “doubling” indexes always mean double at or above the index. So in the case of 9 vs 2 in a 2DH17 game, double if the count is +1 or higher. If the count is zero or negative, just hit.

      Indexes always mean one of these three things: Stand at or above the index, double at or above the index, and split at or above the index. Which one it means varies depending on the decision. It’s a bit confusing at first. If in doubt, check the instruction pages here which show exactly when each applies. Once you get the idea, it gets easier.

      You also may be confused by why basic strategy says “Double” for 9v2, yet the index is +1 for doubling. The explanation is pretty simple. Your hand includes two small cards and the dealer upcard is a small card. Therefore, off the top of a fresh shuffle, you’re already at +1, so basic strategy says double despite needing a “+1” to do so.

    • I’m not sure it’s compatible with Windows 10. It didn’t work when I tried it on a completely up to date version a couple of months back. The recommendation from MGP was to just uninstall the older .Net entirely and try it that way. I haven’t had a chance to try that.

  • You’re right. I ignored blackjacks in this simplified comparison, just like I ignored doubles and splits. The math gets quite a bit messier, although I suppose it would fairly easy to account for only the blackjacks. The conclusion is however unavoidable. In blackjack, your expected loss is the total of your bets times the house edge, unless you vary your bets based on the deck composition instead of some scheme based on a string of wins or losses. No progression can change that fact. Feel free to work it out in laborious detail if that interests you. It doesn’t interest me.