Once you have basic strategy committed to memory, and you have learned to count cards and vary your bet, the next step in fine-tuning your game is to add strategy variations using index numbers.
When I first began to learn about strategy variations, I found them confusing. Based on the number of emails I get on the topic, I know that I am not the only one.
I was especially confused about the way indexes are presented. I thought I could see a better way. But eventually I switched to the standard method, and it definitely has its benefits.
For players, free drinks are an important part of the casino experience. For casinos, serving free cocktails generates a nice return on investment.
This week, a 52 year old California man filed suit against the Downtown Grand Casino in Las Vegas, alleging that the casino continued serving him drinks and extending gambling credit to him after he was obviously intoxicated. He went on to sign markers for $500,000 and lost it all, not realizing how much he had lost until he awoke the following day.
The plague of 6:5 blackjack has been well documented here. (See 6 to 5 Blackjack? Just say No! and The Casino Floor as a Minefield.)
If you have any other game choices available, you should not be playing a game that pays only 6:5 on blackjack.
Yet some players do play these games. Don’t worry, I’m not going to chastise you if you sometimes play these games. But I do want to make sure that you are not making a bad game even worse…
Forgive the cryptic title. I couldn’t resist. So, what does it mean? 16vT is shorthand for the player hand of sixteen against a dealer upcard of Ten. “RS” is a strategy abbreviation. “R” means SuRRender, and “S” means Stand. So, “RS” means Surrender if you can, otherwise Stand.
And of course, WTF is an abbreviation of the message I often get via email when someone thinks they have found a mistake in the strategy provided by my Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine.
Despite the weak economy, many states are experiencing an expansion of gambling. Particularly in the Eastern US, new casinos have opened in state after state, and table games have appeared in previously slots-only casinos.
Among my recent emails from players, I have several on the topic of splitting tens. One player mentioned that he seems to win more often than not when splitting tens against a dealer 5 or 6, so he was wondering if the play could be justified. Actually, his basic assertion is correct. You will win more often than not when splitting tens in those situations. But, winning more than 50% of the time is only part of the story.
Among the many questions I answer by email, blackjack surrender is a common topic. Because surrender is not offered at all casinos, and is rarely advertised or posted even when it is available, many beginning players don’t know much about it.
In this article, I’ll explain exactly what Surrender is, what the two variations are, and when you should utilize this option.
In this new series on the Myths of Blackjack, I’m starting with the most common myth surrounding the game.
The conversation usually goes like this…
Interested Player: So, you play blackjack, huh?
Ken: Yeah, I’ve played a lot of blackjack over the years.
Interested Player: You know what really drives me crazy about blackjack? …
I recently did a couple of interviews that I wanted to mention.
The first is an article in GPWA Times magazine. That’s the Gambling Portal Webmasters Association magazine, focused on issues of interest to casino affiliates. The interview there covers some of the history of BlackjackInfo.com, as well as some of my personal story.
A recent G2E conference session in Las Vegas gave me a chance to hear industry insiders talk about the current usage of RFID (Radio Frequency ID) technology inside casinos. This technology uses radio tags embedded in casino chips to authenticate the chips, and to enable more accurate data gathering on the casino floor. The idea has been around for a number of years now, with Wynn Las Vegas using the system since 2005. In the years since, the technology has slowly improved and more casinos have begun to use the chips. An expert speaker at the conference indicated that perhaps 40 casinos in the US are currently utilizing radio-enabled chips.