A New Design, and a New Knowledge Base

For the last few months, I have been busily working on the new design at BlackjackInfo. And finally, it’s ready to go, so you are looking at the result.

The biggest enhancement is that the site now adapts to whatever device you are viewing on, so check it out on your tablet or mobile phone, including landscape and portrait mode.

All of the site’s most popular features are still here, including the Strategy Engine, and a complete rewrite of the Blackjack Rules explanation.

The New Knowledge Base

The message board archives have been completely redesigned, transforming them into our new Knowledge Base area. The design puts the posts themselves front and center, by removing all the distractions of the old message board interface.

More importantly, I spent a huge amount of time cleaning up the links that users had posted. Many useful blackjack links shared over the years are unfortunately now dead. However, in thousands of those cases, I was able to link to archive.org’s copy of the page instead. So you’ll see the formerly dead link now pointing to an archived copy instead! And where I couldn’t rescue the content, the link is noted as a dead link, so you won’t waste time clicking to a non-existent site.

The archive of messages from CardCounter.com has also been revived and reformatted, and the posts now appear in the Knowledge Base in an easily accessible form. (See Blackjack – CC Archives.)

A Polished Version of Our Blackjack School

The card-counting instruction series at the GameMaster’s Blackjack School has been given a fresh look, with new graphics in place of the originals. And like the other areas, it is now mobile-friendly.

All SSL, All the Time

I also switched the site over to run as ‘https://’ for the entire site. Now the entire site uses SSL, encrypting your entire session with BlackjackInfo. If you don’t want nosy network administrators looking at which pages you visit on BJI, you are now completely safe.

Smart Printing

If you print any of our articles, you will have a nice surprise compared to most websites. If you print an article, the layout adapts for printing, leaving out all the navigation and sidebars. You’ll get only the important parts on paper.

More Relevant Search Results

Looking for something? Try the search form at the top of the sidebar on the right. I’m still enhancing the relevance software, but it’s already very good.

So, What Do You Think?

Take a look around, and let me know what you think. With the launch of any new version, there are bound to be things that I overlooked. Just post a reply with any questions or concerns.

Thanks!


23 comments on “A New Design, and a New Knowledge Base

  • Mark Wheeler said:

    The Strategy engine free game is working again. No more recommended casinos pop-up. Thanks, I was beginning to have withdrawal symptoms.
    Wheelmarks

  • Ken Adams said:

    Great site for practicing “best odds plays” for all situations. However, there seems to be a flaw in the Strategy Coach. I played 6-deck, H17, Late Surrender. Contrary to the correct recommendations on the Strategy Engine, the Coach kept telling me to surrender when I faced a dealer Ace when I had hard counts of 12, 13, and 14.

    • I’ll bet you had the trainer inadvertently set to Early Surrender instead of Late Surrender. Just to be sure, I checked the game. With late surrender enabled, I had 13vA, and the coach correctly said Hit.

  • Buster Side said:

    Ken,

    Just so I’m clear, how would I go about posting on your forum in order to find some London based players to meet?

    Cheers!

  • RanDom Primes said:

    Ken,
    Thanks for all your work on the websites and your comments in general. I’m interested in buying your e-books on Winning BJ tournaments, but I can’t find them anywhere on your sites? Can you give me some guidance?

  • metronome said:

    Sorry to lose the index of users under the member list header.

  • Wheelmarks said:

    No entries since mine of 1/19/15! Did I kill the blog?

    Wheelmarks

    • The comments that are being posted are spread out over many different pages.
      I think I need to show recent comments on the home page to try to pull things together a bit and let users see what is being discussed. I’m just trying to figure out the best place to put it. Thanks!

  • Wheelmarks said:

    The following may be a bit longish for this format. You may publish it or not as you choose.

    The Five Reasons You Lose at Blackjack

    This essay contains the remarkable claim that one of five possible situations can explain any loss at the Blackjack table, whether a single hand, a session or a life-time of play. It is comprehensive!

    It is also arranged as a hierarchy. That is, if “Reason #1” explains a loss, no further reason is needed. If “Reason#1” is rejected, i.e. falsified, then proceed to “Reason#2” and so on.

    Reason #1: God did not want you to win.
    Don’t ask me why; I have no especial insight into God’s mind.Perhaps playing Blackjack is sinful and losing a gentle expression of His/Her wrath. If you can’t accept this as the reason for losing go on to #2.

    Reason #2: You played in a crooked game.
    This is a reason often suspected and sometimes claimed. For sure it has happened. There are many ways a dealer can cheat that are almost undetectable and many ways the house can cheat without even the dealer’s knowledge. However, I think such cheating is very rare in most large casinos. The casino can make tons of money without cheating and can not risk exposure and customer loss in a highly competative business. So on to #3.

    Reason #3: You played poorly: you didn’t play a good basic strategy.
    The best way to play any card combination is well known and widely distributed. An occasional misplay is only human, but a systematic error will grind you down. I once played a table with a man who for 20 years would not hit any hand that might bust. He looked ground down. Fear of a bust is no reason to not take the best odds.

    Reason #4: You had a string of bad luck: you didn’t win as many hands as average.
    Note that this is the same scenario as Reason#1, but does not invoke the intervention of a Higher Power. It’s purely mathematical, a normal variation from the mean. Knowing this, it is still amazing the variance you may experience from series to series in a Blackjack game. Now, the last reason. Everyone knows it, but presumes they are exempt.

    Reason #5: Even with average luck, the house has a small edge.
    This edge seems to magnify in a long series of hands. Nevertheless, there is still hope. The possibility of better than average luck, i.e. a win, does exist. The probability of a win is reduced the longer you play, but never reaches zero. Some suggest that offers of travel, free play and generous comps can produce a win for the player that enjoys the game and the gaming environment. So, enjoy and good luck.

    Wheelmarks

    P.S.: I’m sure many will protest that i have included all the reasons for losing. I have heard (too many times): “You took my card. You took the dealer’s bust card. You didn’t hit and let the dealer have a winning card. You misplayed and now the whole shoe is out of order. You came in mid-shoe and ended my winning streak.” These beliefs, and innumerable variations are best described as superstitious mumbo-jumbo. There is no mathematical support for any of them. I did not cause you to lose, so stop getting angry and enjoy the game, or at least keep quiet and let me enjoy the game.

    • The Knowledge Base is a WordPress plugin I coded from scratch.
      It reads the data from the original vBulletin forum database and injects it into WordPress for normal page handling.
      While I was at it, I spent a lot of time to accomplish two more objectives…
      I wrote code to merge the old CardCounter.com message board content into the vBulletin database.
      And I wrote code to analyze all the outgoing links to see which ones were dead and which ones could successfully be redirected to archive.org.
      It’s not perfect, but it’s a far sight better than the state of things beforehand.

  • Kudos on the responsive design and the conversion of the old forums into the largest BJ knowledge-base on the planet.

    What is the new CMS, WP?, Drupal??

    Curious to know if so far you’ve noticed any SEO improvement by making the entire site SSL?

    • Thanks zg.
      The new site is built on WordPress with a custom theme based on Zurb Foundation.

      I’ve seen some SEO benefit already, but since I changed almost everything at once, I can’t attribute it to anything in particular.
      I’m sure it is part SSL, part mobile-friendliness, part page-load times, part message board cruft removal.
      The important thing… Users are liking it. I see lower bounce rates, and more feedback.
      It’s all good.

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