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

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.

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.

Once you have completed this course, you may also want to read our online blackjack section for further information.



All material in the Blackjack School is © Copyright 2007 The GameMaster Online, Inc.

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David Wang
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David Wang

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

Tyler
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Tyler

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… Read more »

george v. hillstead
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george v. hillstead

when you have face cards when should you split or should you

Mike
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Mike

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… Read more »

Ernest Becker
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Ernest Becker

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

Stefan
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Stefan

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… Read more »

Aaron
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Aaron

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

Stefan
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Stefan

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

Blodget
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Blodget

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… Read more »

Stefan
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Stefan

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… Read more »

Stefan
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Stefan

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… Read more »

Stefan
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Stefan

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

Stefan
Guest
Stefan

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… Read more »

Stefan
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Stefan

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… Read more »

Chad
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Chad

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
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Chad

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… Read more »

Chad
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Chad

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

GV
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GV

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?”… Read more »

Joe
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Joe

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
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Dave

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
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Gute

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 ?

Brad
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Brad

Is blackjack dying, it’s hard to find a good game, h17, Csm and now way too many 6:5 games are casinos going to make blackjack a dinasor ?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Hello Ken,

I’ve recently started learning card counting with hi-low system. I find this matter amazing and I’m confident I can get to master it and I dream of nothing but success while reading and practicing day and night, every second I have free.
I just found your website and it seems very interesting. I would like to interact with you, for I have a world of questions and inquiries.
To start off with a question:
how come your course or classes of such a value are published for free?

Thank you,
Joe

Theoriemeister
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Theoriemeister

I’ve begun the process of card counting (learning to count down a deck & memorizing the I18–the local casinos don’t allow surrender so I haven’t bothered with the fab 4). The BJ games where I live are very limited in number (like ONE per ‘casino’) and, unfortunately, have a HE of .66% (according to a link you provided in another thread, where I could input the house rules). Anyway, I’m memorizing the I18 and bought Schlesinger’s book and when I got to his table on the I18 I noticed that his indices are slightly different than what I’ve been learning.… Read more »

Ram
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Ram

I play blackjack for almost 16yrs and until now i cant win,no matter what i do i cant do anything.I played $25,$50 or$100 table it doesnt matter the +count if the dealer can’t bust you cant bet the game.And most of the time i won the negative count of course i dont raise my bet because of – count thats horrible thing.I always play DD deck blackjack can you tell me what to do in my this game easy and to bet the casino?I have very good bankroll management $14,000 with $25 table DD spread 1to8 the only thing if… Read more »

MJ
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I was just on this site to look at some info Ken had about the Gamemaster in regards to a review of his book on Blackjack Forum. I saw your questions. First, there is NO one that can learn card counting in one day. This is not a quick, easy, get rich scheme. I don’t know if you know basic strategy already but if you do, stick to that. If not, then take a look at the Wizard’s simplified basic strategy at: http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/basics/#toc-Wizard27sSimpleStrategy You can also go to Ken’s Blackjack Basic Strategy engine; place the most common rules you think… Read more »

John
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John

I have a question.
Does anyone know of a website where I can learn quickly how to count cards?
I was invited to go on a trip with some friends of mine and there will be some casinos there and I would like to make some cash to buy some drinks for them as an appreciation gift for inviting me.
The thing is that the trip is tomorrow and I am a little bit short on time.
my plan is to learn the basics and when and how to bet.
Later on I will read this lessons to become better at it.
Please answer

kingdan89
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kingdan89

if more people are at the table and they draw cards out, wouldn’t that change the percentage or odds of me using the practiced chart? if it says hit on a certain hand but 3 people were ahead of me. i don’t understand how that wouldn’t change my odds or change my betting style.

gary
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gary

Usually the casino is using several decks so a few cards do not do much to change the odds. The only way that
can happen is if you have counted cards and it is getting close to the end of the shoe.

kingdan89
Guest
kingdan89

makes sense to an extent. another thing. when your changing the rules to meet my area of casinos, does the advice change automatically with charts and explanations to meet my rules?

anonymous
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anonymous

Hi, I’m currently 20 years old in college learning how to count cards. Ive taught myself hi lo and advanced omega ii. Would you recommend me starting out on double deck or 6 deck shoes if I have yet to do this in a casino setting. Double deck with AOII is easier for me than hi lo with 6 shoes however I realize that the minimum bet is going to be higher in a double deck game. What do you think is easier for a beginner.

kingdan89
Guest
kingdan89

how does the strategy change when theres a full table?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

is it obvious to see how many times the casino shuffles their deck? i remember they get it from like a little shoot or something. would it shuffle in there or would they take out every deck and than shuffle. how would you know if they shuffle after each hand or when the decks are done?

kingdan
Guest
kingdan

this sounds all great! i learnt the basics on my own and memorized a “cheat sheet” online in about 20 minutes (my brain is something else) and went to go play at the casino and won 400$ in about an hour and a half on 15$ bets (not including double downs etc) but i ended up leaving with what I came with because my emotions came into the way when I should’ve done certain moves in the previous hands. Definitely a lesson learned. My questions is, as the teachers and masters of this website. How successful have you been in… Read more »

Blackjohn
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Blackjohn

How much chance can I win if I don’t use card counting strategy? I went to casino yesterday, use basic strategy, I lost…

Blackjohn
Guest
Blackjohn

Can I still use counting card strategy recently? As there are many casinos use the continuous shuffler machine

Blackjohn
Guest
Blackjohn

Hi there,
I am very very new player…as I am interested in the game and learning basic, do some research. I wonder if there are many casino use the shoe to shuffle card or the continuous machine? How about in Canada?

mikerevs
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mikerevs

GameMaster, After practicing the HiLo system with your 24 Lesson Blackjack course, I switched over to the HiLo system from my speed count system. I went to atlantic city and played for two days and I am happy to say that I won each day. I am a $10 table player and I won about the same amount that I did using speed count system, Winning the money was great, but it meant more to me that I was able to use the HiLo system at the table with some success. I never thought I could learn HiLo system, but… Read more »

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