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  • Question about black jack what if the dealer sees the player has over 21 which was the case in my situation and I had 15 and I hit and got an ace and i stayed. Is it the same???

  • I enjoyed your first article and look forward to reading more. I do have a couple thoughts.

    1.) Curling up for the night, in the back seat in a Walmart parking lot, is just a bit too “thrifty” for my tastes. As card counter type AP’s carrying at least partial bankroll on us, I would re-evaluate the risk vs reward ratio on that one.

    2.) Seems you identified that you were close to the tipping point, as you left the casino one night, yet then returned the next morning, to “press your luck”, which apparently didn’t go well. Since this “pressing your luck at a place you already knew you were unlikely to get much more action resulted in flyering, and loss of other nearby casinos, it would seem to me this was NOT a +EV move. You lost several nearby casinos for no real reason.

    • Hi KewlJ, thanks for the input. Valid points—here’s my thoughts:

      1) I can agree on some points, but I do take a few precautions, which I can probably also add to the article. The primary being that I would only have such a sleeping arrangement in a very safe area. I thoroughly research before spending the night. To be honest, I’ve felt safer under the lights/cameras of Wal-Mart about 30 mins outside a large city than I have at decently priced hotels in many big cities (think Chicago or Baltimore).

      You would be surprised at the number of travelers you see sleeping out at those places, but I agree it is certainly not for everyone, and I wouldn’t do it after a big win where I may have been noticed.

      2) Without giving away the area, I can say this casino was pretty much the most tolerant/best game, and this was planned to be my last day there—so I did give up a bit of EV as I could have likely made on hit-and-runs through a couple other casinos on my way out, but opted to play there and hope the heat hadn’t transferred shifts. Good point and good lesson for readers. If you want to avoid back-offs, the signs are often there. If this was local or a place I would hit again in the next few months, I would have approached it differently.

  • Zachary Young said:
    (Posted to: Should You Take Partial Insurance?)

    I respectfully disagree with Zippy and Bear. Insurance is not simply an unrelated side bet it is instead a wager that is attached to our main bet. If it was simply our goal to maximize expectation then we would wager say 1/6th of our bankroll at a modest edge in order to do so. This would of course be suicide. While EV is an important component of decision making it is not the be all and end all of blackjack decisions. Reducing variance is also an important goal especially because if we reduce variance we can bet more and then generate more EV. I do think there is a role for partial insurance. However contra the author of this blog post I do not believe we should not be partially insuring stiffs. In fact we should not insure stiffs at all below the index and doing so actually increases our variance as we run the risk of losing the insurance wager and losing the hand.

  • But isn’t it worth it if you’re counting cards? If it means playing in a one deck game doesn’t that mean that you will recoup the difference and then some? It depends on the cut card’s location and the number of others at the table, and the min bet and max bet of course, but I was just at a casino that had a min bet of 10 and max of 200 on a game like that. I didn’t play that because I wasn’t prepared for it and I thought even if I pulled it off, it was a quick way to get das booten out of the place, to either bet 10 or 200 every hand, the 2 deck game looked more appealing.

  • I’ve noticed the same thing as Benjamin. The cards are coming “pre packed”. Can’t help but wonder if there is a certain mathematically proven way to stack the deck. When you arrive to the tables in Vegas the cards are splayed out in a “display” kind of way.


    I walked up to an empty table at MANDALAY BAY , cashed 2 grand in chips , asked the dealer or to shuffle the cards in front of me. The nasty little Vietnamese bitch refused got major rude attitude and yelled the cards were shuffled already why you want shuffle again i no unda stand nobody ask that why you saying shuffle …. On and on and on … I called over pit boss and told him my play isn’t starting until I see the cards are shuffled.

    Pit boss sided with dealer and said she already shuffled them she doesn’t have to show you she shuffled.

    I said NO and left they demanded i color out my chips (change green 25s to black 100s) I said i don’t HAVE to color up and stormed out.

    I only play large sports betting or tiny roulette amounts now – or video black jack. I will not play reg blackjack on strip unless it’s only for a small stop loss or there is a hot single girl sitting alone. I strongly suspect the casinos are pre shuffling the decks or doing something nefarious – because the difference in losses between the strip and downtown is night and day.

    It’s COMMON for me lose 4, 5 , 10 hands in a row at MGM and Ceasers properties – COMMON … I will literally sit down and lose money AND i always look for tables with nobody there so there always a new deck and i always lose ….. It’s not probable and other people are saying the same thing. I’m not a card counter i just really hate playing with other people (strangers) since I’m not there for the fake social hour hello goodbye I’ll never see you again in my life kind if thing – I’m there to win money. Again:

    1) Strip Properties Only
    2) MGM and Caesars Only
    3) Brand new deck only

    I didn’t realize they were not shuffling in front of me until I noticed the cards were all splayed out on the tables for display.

    rarely has this happened downtown. Whenever i play Cortez it’s always ups and downs and cortez ALWAYS shuffles in front of you by hand with the original blackjack rules.

    I 100% agree with Benjamin something is not right with Black Jack on the strip

    And another thing .. Fuck these dealers. Most of them are “nice” enough but cannot even speak correct English !! Vegas is importing cheap labor to cut out the job market and profit on the backs for poor 3rd world and developing H1B1s who are in a new country far from home and Scared to speak up.

    That’s how these people like Sheldon Alsdale and Wynn – want the world to be. Remember the song from the famous goth band Nine Inch Nails:

    “god money I’ll do anything for you … god money just tell me what you want me too ….. god money dances on the backs of the bruised … god moneys not one to choose”

    NONE of the old timers can tell me hey have not noticed these huge and obvious changes over the past 50 years which has ruined the entire Vegas experience. everything from the class of employees, imported dealers , rude pit bosses , asshole security staff , sky high prices and the worst – a non stop roller coaster of nickel and diming .

    .. I will take Vegas 50 years ago over Vegas today any day.

    Tell me i am making this up .

  • Counting cards feels worthless with 6-5 Blackjack taking over the entire strip and downtown. Even El Cortez 6-5 blackjack tables are expanding.

    People are so so so so stupid they literally see “6-5” and think it’s more than “3-2” because their “feelings” told them it was bigger.

    It is proof how stupid people are today. I don’t care if you give everyone a fake grading curve group grades college degree. This is undeniable prof most people are dumb as a post when it comes to basic math and by the way MOST college degrees require some kind of College level Algebra , Calculus as a prerequisite for graduation.

  • El Cortez in Las Vegas is similar, good rules on single deck, though dealer hits S17. 3:2 BJ, double anything, split any pair. Haven’t checked surrender though.

    Royal Match pays 3:1 on same suite hole, and KQ on suite pays 10x! I’ve found it easier to count suites than cards.

  • Martin Morris said:
    (Posted to: Start Here - Get Blackjack Smart!)

    Yes read Winning Black Jack for the Noncounterby Avery Cardoza and Play Blackjack like the pro’s by kevin black. When you hit your 12 vs 2 and 3, your chances of busting low. Hit your soft 17 all the time.Soft 18 facing 3-6 DD or Stand. 2,7 8 stand. Hit 9 or above because more 10’s in deck. You assume the deal will draw a 10 that will beat your Soft 18.