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

As of September 2016, I have moved on from BlackjackInfo.com, leaving it in the capable hands of an enthusiastic new owner.

About the Author

Creator of Blackjackinfo.com, very few can rival Ken's experience and knowledge of blackjack. His blackjack resume includes winning numerous tournament winnings, making several TV appearances and authoring multiple books on blackjack tournament strategy. Discover more about Ken's background and how he got started here

For a list of all contributors to Blackjackinfo.com click here

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Danny Myers

I am on a cruise with Cliff Mann coming to New Orleans tomorrow and then on to Hattiesburg- Good Luck!!!

DC Wolf

Ken! Thanks for your Blackjack Strategy card, it has helped me greatly. One question though, I know “H” is for Hit, “S” for stand, and “D” is for Double, but what does “DS” and “R” stand for / mean? Thanks, DC from Bristol Tennessee.

LV Bear

Hey there Ken. I do have an interest in your advanced strategy cards and I will probably end up ordering some. One area of concern I have regards usin them at the table. I imagine when you first released them and maybe even still today, the stealth factor works pretty well at camouflage. But over time, what’s stopping from casino personnel purchasing your cards and getting familiar with them? To me, that just seems like it screams counter if they know what to look for. I still plan on committing theses to memory, but what’s your opinion on that? Is it likely to happen over the next few years or probably not?


I am running a fund-raising Blackjack Tournament for the benefit of kids. Can you supply volume pricing? I am looking to buy 50 basic strategy cards.
Thank you


Hi im fairly new in blackajck and im in the process of reading all your lessons, ive asked in other threats but i wanted your answer. Might sound like a stupid question, but i play in a casino in spain where they play with 6 decks and usually shuffle after 1/ 1.5 decks. Do you recommend any particular method, lesson or believe i should use the hi low sistem under this scenario to beat the dealer? Thanks!


Hello im glad to reply to your comment box i got a question i entered a black tournament but im not good at betting the chips we get twelve hands dealt to us each person and we get 1,000 chips we have to use those chips to bet when the twelve hands are dealt how do i go about betting my chips how much on the first hand and when to lift the bet when the dealer is dealing the hands to us in order to win they always get the person that has the most chips left wins the tournament but also its the card that is dealt to you to at the beginning and the end right i want to no how to be my chips and how much and when on every hand that is dealt to me till i get to the twelve hand please i need help could you answer my question please thank you

Ploppy Mcplopperson

I am confused about playing full time and hourly win rates. I see posts and blogs saying that to make so much you need to put in so many hours of play but then i see posts and it is my experience that many sessions are only 1 hour up to 3 hours. When speaking of hourly rate is this actual time played? Sometimes i go to play and cant find a positive profitable shoe for a couple hours. I generally wong out at M1 and find myself watching poker for 15 minutes until i find a table with a new shoe. All in all it seems hard to put in 40 hours a week of actual play. Should i be traveling more? Is full time less than 40 hours? What am i missing? Any reply is appreciated Thanks



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…


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?


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.


dang, that makes sense. thank you

Randy Newman


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

Randy Newman

Then according to your Strategy Engine the Casino Edge is only 0.04
That is great


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!!!




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

Ken Johnston

Where can I find a listing of blackjack tournament on the gulf coast

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