Have you heard of ThePOGG? ThePOGG is “The Player’s Online Gambling Guide”, a site created by an experienced online casino player who does casino reviews and dispute resolution for online gamblers.
This week, the site’s creator posted an interview with me. Among the wide-ranging topics are a story about how I was actually too lucky at one promo, a back story of how randomly generated literature eventually led to my interest in gambling, and other tales from a life at the tables. I hope that BlackjackInfo visitors will find it interesting.
See the full interview here: ThePOGG Interviews Ken Smith
Earlier this year, I was the guest on the Gambling With an Edge radio show in Las Vegas. I mentioned it in the BlackjackInfo email newsletter, but I just realized that it never got posted here on the blog.
The show includes a couple of stories that I think BlackjackInfo visitors will find interesting. I describe one play where I won over $100,000 on a single hand of cards, and another play at a 2:1 blackjack promotion that yielded a big profit along with an uncomfortable situation.
You can listen to the show, and see more details at Gambling With an Edge.
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? …