Blackjack School – A Free 24-Lesson Class on Card Counting

Last Updated: February 18, 2020

Welcome to the GameMaster Blackjack School

by the GameMaster, reprinted with permission.

A brief introduction

I am very pleased and proud to announce the complete revision of The GameMaster’s Blackjack School. For those who aren’t familiar with my “school”, this is a series of 24 written lessons that can teach you how to play a winning game of Blackjack. Here…we have gathered together the entire curriculum, expanded and refined the lessons and added additional resources.

When the state of Missouri legalized casino gaming in 1994, I developed a course of instruction that would show people how to get an edge over the casino Blackjack games. This course, which was taught by me at my home, originally cost $400 and that included all of the training materials, four “classroom” sessions of about 2 hours each, which were spread out over a four-week period and one playing session where I went to a local casino with my graduates in order to assess their skills in the heat of battle, so to speak.

In 1995, I was one of the founders of Rolling Good Times Online (rgtonline.com), the Internet’s first gambling “E-zine” and that was when I began converting my course into a series of written lessons for presentation as a free, internet-based “school”. Until now those lessons have remained pretty much unchanged and have now been licensed to appear on more than 120 gambling related websites.

In July of 1997 I opened our flagship web site The GameMaster Online, from that day forward we have served the blackjack and gaming community with literally hundreds of articles on “getting the edge” on the casinos. I believe this school is the focal point of many of these efforts.

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Sometimes you just need a place to start.

Blackjack is a game of skill and this is where you can learn the skills it takes to beat the game.

The 24 lessons you see here will take you step-by-step through the process of learning how to play each hand properly, how to count cards, how and when to properly bet and literally hundreds of other “tricks of the trade”. The course is long, but this is not something you have to learn overnight. Take your time, do what we say and you’ll soon be on your way to playing a winning game of Blackjack.

Start at Lesson 1 and go as far and as fast as you wish. The thrill of winning at casino Blackjack is literally at your fingertips.

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Leslie Piper
Leslie Piper
6 months ago

Great school, great approach and presentation. Time to reawaken some

Leslie Piper
Leslie Piper
8 months ago

Thanks for being here. Am returning to the course after a couple of years off. I got so I was playing a decent basic strategy, but I hadn’t gotten counting yet. This time around, I’ll probe deeper, because what little I learned and put to use was VERY profitable.

David Wang
David Wang
3 years ago

This is the best article about BJ I’ve ever read. I’m sure this will be the start of BJ for me.

Tyler
Tyler
3 years ago

Hey so I love this blackjack school. One complaint I have about it is that if I want to review a specific lesson, I have to cycle through each lesson and keep clicking next. It’s honestly a bit of a pain. Maybe because I am viewing your website through an iPhone. But unless you already have it and I just overlooked it, I’d find it so much easier if there was a table of contents with direct links to each page so I wouldn’t have to cycle through each one. The material is great on here and I am using it very often to develop my skills! Thanks!

Mike
Mike
3 years ago

Man, dont know about this system… I mean it doesn’t seem to work as you are saying… I’ve played many hours in 6decks shoe online live casino (you see the shoe and the dealer) , totally of 70.000 euros in bets, I’m playing only at TC >1 and i am losing atm 3000euro… Many times I went losing streaks of 10-15 continuing bets, i did some 2wins 20loses and 3wins 30loses, while i have never won more than 7 continuing times and usually not more than 3-4 times in a row (while losing 7-10 times in a row happens very often). And the most important thing is that when the TC is 4+ I’ve been losing the majority of my bets (about 80%). I m kinda disappointed, I dont think im just “unlucky” and my loss is just statistics since 70,000euros are many many bets. Shouldn’t I be winning more than 50% of my bets since I’m playing only in TC>1 ? I have been doing EXACTLY what the game master suggests and betting exactly as he says, not once i did something wrong… You are saying that you play TC> -1 and you make money, how come i play TC >1 and I’m losing? Thank you for your time, I hope for an answer.

Mike
Mike
3 years ago
Reply to  Ken Smith

As for the online casino I’m playing, the penetration varies from 70-83% , usually around 75% (pretty good) and the decks are opened in front of you, you see all the cards, and then they shufle them in front of you.

I guess I’ll continue playing till I have more of a sample than the 70k euros (i beliene its around 10-11k bets), I can afford to lose some more money 😛

I watched your link and I have 1 more question if I may. If only at TC 18+ you win a bet more often than you lose, how is it possible to make money (I’ve never seen TC more than 9)? Again thank you for your time!

Mike
Mike
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Its 6decks, DA2, DAS, No surrender, No re-split
Also i always take insurrance at TC>3

fred
fred
3 years ago
Reply to  Ken Smith

you wanna win dont gamble the house AlWAYS WINS

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago
Reply to  fred

i make living playing bj read a book rookie

Silver Foxx
Silver Foxx
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Yeah that person is an idiot! Nice reply!

Ernest Becker
Ernest Becker
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Dude most online black jack.is rigged to.be honest.

Stefan
Stefan
4 years ago

Ken hello again !!its me your midnight fan …????????????????

You have opened my eyes for good so one more question 4 you sir !!

In a 6d s17 das bj3.2 double on any 2 cards we need the bet spreads why?
to over come the losses through the negative counts?and if i have to play under tc -1i need that bet spreads more than i would need them if i wong out at 0tc ?or the spreads are the one that creates the edge 4 the player?and if instead of spreading 1/12 at my casino i spread only 1/3 i suppose that my r.o.r its going to be alot lower but what about my e.v?i try to understand the importance of the spread and in a typical game what the affect in the same game rules with 1/12 spread and 1/3.if i wong in only at tc+2 with flat ber of 5 dollars i generate like this 0.5 edge×5 dollars =2.5 this is 0.25cents ? Is there a ror /bankroll/spread mathematic formula or i need cvcx?

LV Bear
Editor
1 year ago
Reply to  Stefan

Stefan, these questions are beyond the scope of what can be personally answered here. I respectfully suggest you should read every good book out there right from Beat the Dealer to all of Stanford Wong’s books, Arnold Snyder’s books, Don Schlesinger’s books, Norm Wattenberger’s Modern Blackjack and of course James Grosjean’s Beyond Counting. You should also get all of Norm’s software. The technical knowledge will be very valuable in fine-tuning your game along the way and also help how you approach other games.

Aaron
Aaron
4 years ago

i want to print this out is there a way to print every lessons at once

Stefan
Stefan
4 years ago

Ken smith hi again !i want to travel from greece to the usa to see the hot action in real.anywhere i can get informed from where to have an economy room to stay until in which casino to go and play.?also a general question is with 20.000 dollars bank roll what spread to u advice me to use to be invisible to the pit bosses and how much hours of session should i make?and what is the average profit an hour?thanks again for your time

LV Bear
Editor
1 year ago
Reply to  Stefan

Please see response above.

Blodget
Blodget
4 years ago

We have an Indian casino about an hour and fifteen minutes away where we play with no heat and very friendly dealers and pit bosses.

Both double deck and 6 deck games have great penetration…85% plus, no surrender but double on anything, split up to 4 times.

A couple of interesting notes. I was on a crazy run and had about $8k of $500 chips and the pit boss leans over to me and says “you know, it’s OK to leave with money…you don’t have to stay and give it back?”

Then on another trip one if the dealers who is a part time pit boss looks at the 6 deck discard and quietly says “there’s about 1 1/3 decks discarded” to me. He obviously assumed I was counting.

Just goes to show that not ALL of the casinos are alike, especially outside of Nevada?

Anybody else have good story?

Blodget

Stefan
Stefan
4 years ago

PLEASE Take a look at this …..

Yesterday one guy in a local cazino made something very strange in bj.he took almost 10.000euro

The strange part of corse was that the game was with smc if i tell them correct.the machine that shaffle after every hand .

More strange was his bettings.he was betting for some rounds the minimum 10euro and after sudenly BOOM !!!200euro in each box.he was playing in two boxes and he decided BOOM maximum bets and sometimes he opend also a 3d box.he was taking all the time tens and ases.also the dealer was taking 10 but for some reason never an ace.when the party was over again only two boxes with 10 euro each for some hands and after 6 or 7 hands BOOM !!!maximum bets with 200euro and always 20 or bj.never again see something like that.the funny part was the 3 pit bosses and the floor manager that come running to that table and watching the game.i was also counting with hi/lo but of corse my counting was air !!!his method/counting was working perfect !!!

Stefan
Stefan
4 years ago

U explain very nice your answers but maybe i have a wrong concept of idea from the begging.a counter has 53/100 chance to win!right?i understand that this doesnt confirm by it self that if i play 100 times i will win exacly 53 times .maybe i win 60 times maybe 40.if i have understand it correct this is cause of tbe variance.and to finishe with the variance/luck u need to play to the long run.but as much as i try to find a number or math type to give a number or an amount to these words i cant!!!maybe its something general .real but general like the concept of the “time”.we all now what timeline it is but we cant give a exacly meaning by words

Stefan
Stefan
4 years ago
Reply to  Ken Smith

Ok ken.thanks

Stefan
Stefan
4 years ago

U got exacly what i ment.thanks again for your precious advice/answer !

Stefan
Stefan
4 years ago

Also when one player wants to play with just the maths and overcome the good and the bad luck i cant understand how much time is needed in continious game?or should i think not in time but in hands??and i cant understand if the tables or the cazino have united memory !i mean that if i play 10 days in the row every day of 5hours each day and i loose every time for those 10 days and i decide to go after on month for 10days again of 5hours each day the maths those days will have to give me profit ????

Stefan
Stefan
4 years ago

Ken Smith hi again.sorry if i write in a wrong section but i want to ask two things.when the true count is high and its time for us to bet as back counters or betting more like players on the the table and there are three or five bases/players we bet where for better results ?first base ?the last one?or it dont matter.?second guestion i have read that to survive the long run and play all good luck and bad luck we need 50 times the max bet.if i decide to play flat bet of 5dollars it means that i need 250 dollars.right?at this fynny amount of money what profit per hour can u gain?000000.1 cents ????.and last in another post u answered me that its not how much hours a counter can play continiusly but how much he should play?please inlight us.if he plays more or less hours what the results?thanks for your time !!

Chad
Chad
4 years ago

Thank you for the info. I see you calculated stand on 17. I only have the option of hit on soft 17. I can assume the risk of ruin and 100/h win rate will be even worse than the calculations above, correct?

Chad
Chad
4 years ago

Hey Guys, I’m having trouble finding a RoR formula if anyone can give me some insight. I have an $8k bankroll and my options are limited to my local area to play. The best I found is 6d, H17, DAS, DA, NO RSA, NO Surr. I think it is .61% house edge. I am wondering what the RoR is for $10 vs $15 units with 1-12 spread top bet of $120 or $180. The $10 tables are very hard to find locally and I am resorting to $15. Please let me know if more info is needed as I don’t have the formula.
Thanks

Chad
Chad
4 years ago
Reply to  Chad

I re-read my post and wanted to clear up I am inquiring about “risk of ruin” with the RoR acronym.
Thanks,

Chad
Chad
4 years ago
Reply to  Ken Smith

Thanks for the reply Ken, In your opinion is $8K bankroll sufficient for $15 tables?

GV
GV
4 years ago

I’ve been learning to card count. I’m using the Hi-Lo system. (But I’m looking at the TKO system as well.) I’m dealing one deck and keeping track of my outcome as well as the time it takes me to get through a deck. My best so far is 40 seconds.

There are three questions I have for you…
1. How to best compute “decks dealt” by just looking at the discard shoe?
2. In my second-to-last casino visit I did very well BUT… one of the other players at the table actually said “what are you doing man? Counting cards?” I about $hat my pants! So, how to best “cover up” the fact?
3. What are your thoughts on the TKO system by Daniel Dravot?
Thanks,
GV

Joe
Joe
4 years ago

Hi,

Is there a way to calculate your risk of ruin to include expenses? So for example, if my expenses account for 10% of the EV gained how do I incorporate this knowledge to calculate my true risk of ruin?

Dave
Dave
4 years ago

Hello, I want to ask about the true count, after a round has been done, for example we have a +6 running count and 3 decks haven’t been played, the true count is +2 . But when we start a new round, where shoulld I start counting? From 0 again or continue the +6 running count that I have before? Thank you
very much

Gute
Gute
4 years ago

In live casinos on line, one has the advantage of back counting (8 decks games).
the question is which is prefered, to back count and wait till the true count is high (say +3 or higher) and only then start betting, but then, you only play low number of hands per shoe. Or to play acroos the entire show, where you can play many more hands per shoe ?