Strategy Card Usage at table in Casino

  • ZMan

    Strategy Card Usage at table in Casino

    I’m still a beginner and relatively new to Basic Strategy. I’m wondering, will most casinos (especially Vegas) let you use a Basic Strategy card at the table? I was on a cruise last month and asked the Casino Host if this was allowed. He said it was no problem as long as it didn’t slow the game down too much.

    I printed a small one and I kept it in my cigarette pack in front of me. I pretty much KNOW the BS but sometimes want to make sure I’m playing correct on splits and doubling of soft hands. It only takes me a second or two to glance down at my chart and play it correctly.

    Also, I tried to avoid 1st base as it gives me a little more time to decide on my initial hand. Tried to avoid 3rd base too because you catch a lot of crap for “taking the dealers bust card” even when playing correct BS. People act like you’re stupid for hitting your 16 vs 10 and especially for hitting A7 vs 10. One time when I hit my A7 vs 10, a person even said ‘You should NEVER hit an 18’. I told him thanks but I’ll bet my way with my money and he can bet his way with his. He shut up after that.

    Although I’m a beginner, I’m sure I was playing ‘smarter’ than most I saw.

    I’m still practicing lots and this website is great for that, but do still like having my BS card there as a crutch.

    So, what is your experience with this or what do you think? Anybody used the BS cards at the tables or been not allowed to use them?

  • Mikeaber


    Zman….I’ve not run into any Casino in Vegas that will deny you the use of the card at the table. In fact, you can buy the cards at the casino’s gift shops! It is a good idea though, to ask before you drag it out. And, if you have to refer to it often, it is better not to sit at first base.

    Soon, you won’t need it at all. The only reason I carry one with me now it so I have something to throw at some obnoxious know-it-all who constantly criticizes my play.

    I was playing this past weekend in Kansas City. A gentleman (not being sarcastic here) who was on third base questioned me about doubling a soft 19 against a 6 (I won the hand by the way!) He came from New York and the casinos back East apparently must mostly stand on soft hands. This table we were playing hit soft 17’s. He said he’d never paid attention to that rule on the felt about the soft 17’s. That play and doubling soft 18 against a deuce are about the only two differences and if you miss those two plays, you aren’t going to hurt yourself too badly. He just wasn’t familiar with the differences.

  • DoubleFiddle

    One more difference between S17 and H17….

    Just noticed another difference between the Basic Strategy charts for 6+ deck play depending on whether the dealer hits (H17) or stands (S17) on soft 17…..So there are 3 differences total.

    (#3) You should ALWAYS double down on 11s (even against Aces)

    Previously mentioned…
    (#1) Double A-8 against dealer 6
    (#2) Double A-7 against dealer 2


  • Jeff Dubya


    This past weekend in Tucson, AZ… I had a dealer pretty much openly mocking me for having a card. I asked him if it was a problem with house rules, he said “no.” Then I told him that I would not slow the game down using it, because I had most of it committed to memory anyhow, but I wanted it there just in case, and that I kept it flipped face down when I wasn’t using it.

    The guy just would not let up. Every time I busted, he would say something stupid like “what does your card say about that?” So finally I said, “Did I or did I not just play that hand with perfect strategy?” To which he replied, “Yeah.” To which I said “Well then there’s your 51% edge. Now quit ripping on my experience level and deal me some winning cards. After all, if I don’t win, you don’t get tipped.”

    He finally shut up, but after a couple hands, we moved on. We just weren’t comfrotable with him. We did complain to a manager, who did inform us it was the casino policy to allow strategy cards at the table.

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