About Ken Smith


I am Kenneth R Smith, the creator of BlackjackInfo.com. As an avid blackjack player for many years, I began playing seriously in the early 1990s when casino gambling arrived in my home state of Mississippi. In 1994, I participated in a blackjack tournament for the first time; I have been on the tournament trail ever since, tallying numerous big wins over the years. I have competed in literally thousands of tournament events and I continue to play regularly. Fans of blackjack tournaments should also visit my tournament-specific website BlackjackTournaments.com, where upcoming events are discussed, along with tournament strategy.

My home is in Mississippi, but I love to travel. Some of the memorable trips in the last couple of years include a week in Istanbul, Turkey, and three weeks in Ecuador and Peru. I post very occasionally about my travel on my personal blog Sweet Tea, No Lemon.

Television Appearances

Ken with Penn Jillette on WSOB
Ken with Penn Jillette on WSOB

Tournament blackjack made the leap to television in 2004, and I was a participant on many shows. In the first-ever televised blackjack tournament series (GSN’s World Series of Blackjack), I made the final table in the premiere season finishing in sixth place. I went on to appear in WSOB II, III, and IV over the next few years, as one of only three players who appeared in every broadcast season of the show’s run on GSN. After four seasons, GSN cancelled the series. At this time there is no longer a World Series of Blackjack competition.

I also appeared on the Travel Channel in 2004, competing in the Las Vegas Hilton’s Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament II. In the semifinal round, I needed one last winning hand to advance to the final table of seven players where the winner received one million in cash. Unfortunately my luck ran out with one hand to go, and I missed making the final table.

After the Travel Channel and GSN shows, televised blackjack tournaments made a jump to the TV big leagues in September 2006 when the Ultimate Blackjack Tour was broadcast on CBS. In that show’s premiere episode, I won the event with a first place finish worth $50,000. I also competed in the “Legends of Blackjack” special event for UBT, though my sixth place finish at a table of seven players was far from legendary!

Televised blackjack was an absolute blast for me. In addition to the novelty of appearing on so many shows, the UBT events afforded the chance to travel to some nice destinations. We filmed one event in Aruba, and another in St Kitts for example.


After gaining a reputation as a leading tournament strategy expert, I authored monthly magazine columns in both Blackjack Confidential and All In Blackjack magazines during the run of those publications.
Ken's Tournament eBook
I have written two e-books on blackjack tournament strategy: “How to Win More Blackjack Tournaments” and “How to Win Even More Blackjack Tournaments – Volume II”. Both books are packed with strategy tips for players of any skill level, from newbie to pro, including several groundbreaking ideas that have never before appeared in print. Click here for a special package deal including both books.

Most of my current writing about blackjack is here at BlackjackInfo, but I also still write an occasional item for Henry Tamburin’s email newsletter Blackjack Insider.

Strategy Cards

In 2008, I published a group of plastic strategy cards for blackjack, available at Amazon.com.
Then, in 2013, I expanded on that product, introducing an Advanced Strategy card set that adds card counting index number details to the usual strategy cards. That product is also available at Amazon.

Contact Details

You can contact me via email at ken@bh3.net

or via postal mail at:

Ken Smith
55 Quail Hollow Dr
Hattiesburg, MS 39402


13 comments on “About Ken Smith

  • S. ZHANG said:

    Dear Ken,

    I am a master student who is studying engineering in Nederlands, and I am also a basic strategy player. It’s a pitty that also the casinos in nederland have already introduced CSM.
    I’ve kept losing for 3 days, actually losing money is not the worst thing troubles me, because I am convinced that in long terms, maths in in my favor. The thing really made me sad is the man like me is not welcomed in th casino. The dealers of course always try to get me rid of the table, and the suckers always blame their loss on me. For example, I got a 16 and dealer shows 10, I hit get a 2, than dealer gets a 10(the dealer only take one card in the first round, wihch means if I didn’t hit, the dealer could bust). when this situation happened, all the rest of tables will get very angry and thy to teach me how to play. It’s obviously that I and these stupid suckers live in differrent world, which means I don’t need to explain anything cause they don’t even know what house advantage is. And if sometime I am in bad luck and suckers won some money in their wrong ways, their can be even more arrogant and throw their weight around. That is the darkest moment for me cause they will set me as a stupid example. Suckers think a BS player as suckers and blame on they, what a world!!!



    • Stefan replied:

      Everywhere the same idiots !!i am not angry with them.i feel sad for them ti play likr they do and throwing theim money !play always basic strategy against card machines and learn count fir the shoes

  • Randy Newman said:


    First, let me say I really enjoy your site and the new look is great. I enjoy playing the practice games. And as a recreational player I have learned a great deal and it is paying off with trips that end up costing me nothing and sometimes letting me bring some money home also.

    Second, my question. I found a single deck game that allows you to double down on any first two cards but if you get a pair of A’s you can only split once and then you cannot double down on A’s after you split.
    YOU CAN double down on any other cards

    When I use your Strategy Engine the only options are Double After Split Allowed or No Double After Split.

    I have been using Double After Split Allowed since I have split and ended up with an 11 or some hand that strategy says to double down on.
    Is using Double After Split Allowed the correct choice to generate the best strategy?

    Randy Newman

  • Your basic strategy table doesn’t make sense for player 16 vs. dealer 10. If there is surrender it is “Rs” but if no surrender it is “H”. It should be Rh if there is surrender. That is what your printed cards say.

  • Thanks for the website and the free advise. I do notice that you contradict yourself in some places and that your basic strategy card doesn’t align with what you are preaching in the lessons. Can you double check, and realign?

  • Ken,

    I know that blackjack players who do well and/or play well tend to find an inhospitable environment at casinos… have you had or written about any experiences with this? I am particularly interested in South Mississippi, which is where I am and where I will be playing and (hopefully!) winning soon…

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