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.
Blackjack has always offered a great value in the casino for anyone willing to learn basic strategy. Without card counting, a player that uses an accurate basic strategy at the table can play games at most casinos with substantially under half a percent house edge. Even the worst rules and conditions rarely exceed a house edge of 0.8%.
If you are a recreational player, you can consistently overcome that small edge with the value you receive from comps of free rooms and food. Why is it possible to get back more in comp value than your actual expected loss?
If you are a skilled blackjack player, you are well aware that a surveillance operator could be watching your play at any time, using the network of cameras that dot the ceiling above every casino floor. But, did you know that a computer could be watching you instead?
With technology already in use in the casino industry, your play can be analyzed automatically without human intervention.
Thanks to an attentive Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine user from Russia, I was notified today about a minor error in the charts it delivers. The many rule settings for the engine means that there are hundreds of possible charts that can be generated. The mistake appeared on only 3 of the possible charts, as you had to choose 1 Deck, Double After Split, Early Surrender, and No Peek to see the problem.