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  • Jaime said:
    (Posted to: About Ken Smith)

    Hi im fairly new in blackajck and im in the process of reading all your lessons, ive asked in other threats but i wanted your answer. Might sound like a stupid question, but i play in a casino in spain where they play with 6 decks and usually shuffle after 1/ 1.5 decks. Do you recommend any particular method, lesson or believe i should use the hi low sistem under this scenario to beat the dealer? Thanks!

    • The news isn’t good. The game you describe, dealing 1 to 1.5 decks out of 6 is almost unbeatable with counting. That is 25% penetration at best. Positive situations will only rarely arise that early in the shoe, and the cost of playing the other hands even at minimum bet will overwhelm the occasional edge on the good hands.

      Sorry, but you will need to find a game with better conditions to have an edge with card counting.

  • After training the lessons I just started to play my first real session in the casino. Played for about 1:30 hour. (I tried to keep it under an hour but lost track of time.)
    I noticed that as I started winning the pit boss changed the decks and asked the croupier to shuffle manually instead than the machine. When shuffling he checked the cards.
    I started small (changed 50 and the minimum was 2.5 and used max bet 30). I was worried the pit boss started suspecting already so played about 15 minutes more and left after losing a hand. I tried to follow all the advice in the lesson. I actually left with about 130 (which in the exchange rate in my country is not so little). The bad side is the casino requires id for a card you need to use for buying or changing chips so they know who I am. Should I worry? What’s would you recommend? Is there any particular book that may talk about the subject in more length?

    Another question I want to buy your strategy cards but as I am not in the USA I usually big digital books are you planning to sell them in digital format in the future?
    Thank you for this great website

    • If he suspected counting, the first tactic would usually be decreasing the penetration. The fact that he wanted to check the cards (and that’s likely why he switched to hand shuffle for a while) indicates that he was perhaps concerned about the cards being marked. He could have been looking for subtle physical damage or visible ink spots that an unscrupulous player could impart while playing.
      I would not worry much at this point, and would just stay aware of whatever attention you are getting. In many small casinos, the pit has very little else to do, so they’re almost guaranteed to watch your play closely. You asked about a book… At low bet limits, I think spending money on camouflage is too expensive. If you are still interested, a good book on the topic is Ian Anderson’s Burning the Tables in Las Vegas.

      Lastly, sorry, but I have no plans for a digital version of the strategy cards at this time.

  • I live in Québec, Canada (I’m a French-Canadian, so I’m apologising from my grammar mistakes… 😛 ), and we have some weird rules for Black Jack, so it’s really hard for me to find a perfect index chart on the internet, and the rare one that I find are missing some index number, or only goes from -3 to 4. Even worst, all the numbers are rounded, and most of the time they don’t explain how they rounded them. For example, some place says that 1,5 to 2,5 are 2, but some other places said that 1,1 to 2,9 are 2 on the index chart… So I was wondering if you have a program that you recommend to me that will allow me to calculate the perfect index number for the rules where I live. Thanks a lot in advance 🙂

  • Ken, Great website by the way. With the 8 deck game using Hi-Lo counting. 1-12 or 1-20 spread is better?
    Bet spread 0 =$10.00
    true count +1 =$25.00 +2 =$50.00 (.5%) +3 =$100.00 (1%) +4 =$150.00 (1.5%) +5 =$200.00 (2% edge) over house
    cut card 1.5 deck cut off (75%) penetration roughly
    Let’s say I had a running count +26 with half a shoe left. (TC =+6) Move to a second hand or just play one? Two other players at table. I prefer to play alone.
    Always split 8,8 vs 10 (right) TC +5 change to stand?

    • Bigger spreads will always have a higher expected win. Spreading to two hands in positive situations will always have a lower risk with the same expected win as a single hand of the same total amount. So it really comes down to what you are comfortable doing.
      As for 88vT, you should always split in DAS games. In NDAS games, your index is correct. At TC+5 or higher, stand instead of split. Because it’s a “reverse” index (split in lower counts, stand in higher), I left it off my advanced strategy cards because of the potential for confusion.

      • Well said. The larger your spread the more heat from the pit. I have have been mixing colors (black,green,red chips) which I got from Ken Uston and Kevin Blackwood. Cat and mouse game I guess. Thanks for the reply.

  • What are they doing to this site? What happened to the original strategy page, where you selected the number of decks and dealer hits or stands on soft 17 etc.?

  • Hello there,
    here just another developer with some free time in the weekend that want to produce a free software that maybe will be useful for someone else.

    Right now me and a few other people are collaborating on a public repository to accomplish the first Goal: release a fully “customizable” blackjack engine written in nodejs (usable as server side or client side).

    Consider the following:
    – no one company is sponsoring the project (and we do not want it)
    – code is fully reusable by you for any purpose you want (under GPL 2 licence)
    – code is free

    What are we releasing?
    – YES the full code, its tests.
    – YES a minimal user interface to play the game with its server that can be used as model to build something ready for production.
    – NO, a nice and attractive user interface ready for final customer (that is up to you)

    So, I’m writing here to ask if are we allowed to use references we discover in this page as part of the documentation (commenting the source of the information)?

    Thanks a lot for you time and if you want to contribute to our project (by asking for particular options or variation that are not yet included) you are very welcome.

    You can access the project here

  • Anonymous said:
    (Posted to: Lesson 1 - Basic Strategy)

    hello Ken, thanks for everything! When i split Aces, i get only one card in each hand and no doubling. Is this on every casino? Do I still split A-A every time?