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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Thank you for a great page!
I am new to Blackjack but now master the Basic strategy for European rules(as played here) and are interested in starting with counting. The article about unbalanced systems mentions Fred Renzys key card count system of only counting 4,5(+1) as well as tens,black aces(-1) as well as other easy systems. What are the expected extra edge on a system like the kcc and how would you increase the bet based on this count?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Ben,

The extra edge on the Key Card Count is about 0.25% assuming you are playing a mutiple deck game with good rules (with single deck itís about 0.5%).

Fred Renzy recommend the following betting strategy based on his Key Card Count.

Running count 1 or 2deck 4 or 6 deck

19 or less 1 unit 1 unit

20 2 untis 3 units

21 4 units ------

22 6 units 6 units

23 ------ 8 units

24 ------ 12 units

For more details consult his Blackjack Bluebook

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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<>

 

2/26/01
In answer to the first question B.J. Insider states,"in games with 2 or
more decks of cards the correct strategy is to hit 11 against the
dealer's Ace."

However, my basic strategy info for 2 decks (S17, DOA, DAS) says to
double down on 11.

Which strategy is correct?

Regards,
Mac

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

Dear Mac,

In single deck games you should double down 11 against dealerís ace. In double deck games with S17, DOA, and DAS you should double down unless your hand is comprised of 2,9 and 3,8 in which case you should hit. If 4 or more deck games double down 11 vs dealerís ace.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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---------------------------------
Dear Henry,

Do you know any online casino that doesn't shuffle between each hand ?

Many Thanks and continue the good work.
---------------------------------


Dear Ewanmg,

Try the 6-deck game at www.gamblerspalace.com. They deal about 50% of the cards prior to shuffling.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear Henry,

On the quiz, you have a question that asks whether or not to take even money
on a blackjack hand when the dealer has an ace up. Wouldn't it be safer to
say to take even money when you don't start off with alot of money? For
example, if I sit down and have $50 to start with, and its a $15 minimum
table, and I have the hand specified above. I would much rather take even
money early on, instead of losing it so soon. I would prefer to think you
will agree with me when I say this. Also, here in Michigan there is no
surrendering your hand. Casinos here will not allow you to surrender a hand.


Thank you,
Janice

Dear Janice,

Your average gain when you take even money is 1. Your average gain when you pass up the even money bet is 1.04. Over time you will make more money (4% more to be exact) when you pass up the even money bet. If you are afraid of losing the $15 then you are overbetting in relation to your bankroll. I play by the percentages for the long run and the percentages favor not taking even money vs taking it regardless of how much you bet or how much your bankroll.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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<>


Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by [name withheld]

---------------------------------
I presently use the Hi-Lo Lite system.When I reach a true count of 3 or 4, the dealer always has a stiff 20 or blackjack.Can the number of players affect his advantage over me? I play with a 6 deck balanced shoe.
---------------------------------


Dear Robert,

Playing at a full table is undesirable for a card counter. First because you have the edge you want to be dealt as many hands as you can. With a full table you get less hands dealt per hour then at an empty table (general rule of thumb is 200 hands per hour if you play heads up and about 60 hands per hour at a full table of 6). Second, counters win when the cards become imbalanced. The more cards that are removed the more likely this will occur and the more of an imbalance will exist in the unplayed cards. You want as many hands as you can before the reshuffle and you can do that playing with less players. The effect is greater with single deck and two deck game vs six deck game. Fred Renzy (Blackjack Bluebook) reported that the counters edge decreases from .95% to .75% in single deck game when a player plays heads up vs with 5 players. In 6 deck game the percentage went from 0.9% to 0.8%.

This is the rule I use. In single deck games Ė no more than 2 other players. In 6 deck games Ė no more then 4 players.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

 

In a recent issue you covered the banning of counters in NV and NJ. What is
the status for IL, IN, and MS? I have never seen anyone banned in those
states. Thank you, Larry Lucas

<>


Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

Dear Larry,

Illinois has no statute, regulation, or case law that tells whether or not barring is legal.

Mississippi has no provisions for barring, nor any prohibition of barring.

Not sure about Indiana.

For more information, please consult Blackjack & The Law by Robert Loeb.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

---------------------------------
Want to order the
book "blackjack in the zone." by Rick Blaine.
---------------------------------


Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Azl23ch,

You can order Rick Blaines book at www.gamblersbook.com.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
I am a beginning card counter but I can't count for more than one six deck shoe. I also have problems counting if there are more than four sets of cards to add up. How do I train myself to stay focused longer? How can I learn to count more sets of cards?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear JC1193,

I sugest you purchase the SmartCards software program (www.extremebj.com). It will help you practice your card counting with lotís of exercices and practice environments.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
What are the rules
for blackjack in aruba
and what casino has the best game.

---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Parkfurni,

Most of the casinos in Aruba use 6 decks of cards (the Casino Masquerade also has a single deck game).

The rules in the 6-deck games vary - in some casinos the dealerís must hit soft 17 and in others they must stand. Also in some casinos they use the European no hole card rule. All offer doubling after pair splitting (DAS). The best rules are at the Casino Masquerade Ė in their 6 deck games the dealer stands on soft 17 and DAS and late surrender is offered.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Today I have a very bad experience in the Casino Niagara when I have a black Jack. That's the 4th black Jack in my first 10 hands, so I feel lucky and happy, I talked with my friends and didn't take much notice on the table. Then the dealer showed her black Jack. I argue why didn't ask me if I 'm going to take even money, she said she don't have to ask. But for all other dealer they always ask. Is there any regulation for that? Thanks!
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Mac,

I donít believe itís a regulation that the dealer ask the player for even money. In most casinos itís their policy that the dealer offer the player who has a blackjack even money. But the responsibility to pay attention to your hand and what is going on rests with you not the dealer. As an aside you should not be taking even money anyway. You will make 4% more money in the long run if you pass up on even money vs if you always take it (it is a sucker bet like insurance).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

<>

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
If you're holding 12 or 13 and the dealer is showing 2 or 13, does the player stay?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Dbuck7150,

When the dealer shows a 2 or 3 and you have 12 you should hit. If you have 13 you should stand.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
how do i gamble
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Moses,

You can either gamble in a brick and mortar land base casino or one of the many Internet site that offers casino gambling. Before you do either, make sure you read up on your favorite game before you risk any real money.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
If someone is under age and wins big at blackjack can they take your money away?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear darren,

Yes they can take away any money you won at the tables plus contact the local police because you are gambling underage.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by D. Robbins.

---------------------------------
Is counting cards illegal? I mean, will the casino throw you out if they catch you adding up the cards as they are played?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear J. D. Robbins,

I covered this question in detail in the Q&A in Blackjack Insider #6. Go to www.BJInsider.com/newsletter.shtml.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

<>

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
There are two variations from the basic strategy that I make: 1) I hit instead of double on 11 versus a dealer's 10, and 2) I stand rather than hit with 12 against a dealer's 3. How are my mathmatical odds of winning affected by these decisions? Do you recommend these decisions?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Don,

I assume you are playing in a single deck game. I donít have the math handy but you are make a mistake by hitting vs doubling 11 vs ace in a single deck game. Likewise, you are slightly better off hitting vs standing on 12 vs 3. They are both close plays but you your expectation of winning more money is slightly greater if you double 11 vs dealer ace and hit 12 vs dealer 2 (ie you wonít win every time but in the long run you will end up with more money by following the basic strategy play).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

__________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Dear Henry, I work in surveillance at a major casino in the midwest and I feel a pretty good card counter and have this question. I am intrested in entering a b.j. tournament I have never played tournaments before, what if any tricks should i know to win. Bet heavier than normal when the count is good ?? any suggestions I would appreshiate. skyone36...
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Skyone36,

Card counting is not very useful for a tournament. Reason is that card counting gives you a long term edge and a tournament is to short. There are some tips on tournament play in BJ Insider #7 (article by Andy Glazer). Go to: www.BJInsider.com/newsletter.shtml.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
When playing the basic stategy, is it better to bet the same amount each hand or to use a betting progression? What kind of progression would be best for a $200-$300 bankroll at a $10 minimum table?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Kevin,

If you want the long term advantage you should only use a betting progression based upon the count (ie. learn card counting and only increase your bets when you have the edge). I have never seen a study with millions of hands of blackjack that shows a correlation in your chances of winnning the next hand based upon whether or not youíve won the previous hand (ie betting progressions do not alter the casinos edge in the long run). However, Walter Thomason has done studies that indicate the progressive bettor did better in the short run then someone who bets the same amount. I suggest you read his book, 21st Century Blackjack for details and draw your own conclusions about the merits of progressive betting.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Dear Sir,
Please could you tell me the true odds on getting a blackjack and how you arrive at that figure?
Also what are the true odds on getting a black jack of the same suit and how you arrive at that figure?
If its not too much to ask I would also like to know if there is any difference being able to surrender on two cards only but after you are able to take cards (3 or more)on mutiple boxes before hand.As opposed to just being able to surrender on two cards and before anymore cards are pulled?
I thank you in advance
Jules
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dera Jules,

The probability of getting a blackjack hand in a single deck game is 1/20.75. This is arrived as follows.

4/52 times 16/51 = 2.41% (there are 4 aces in 52 cards then 16 10 value cards in 48 cards)

However you could have gotten the 10 value card first then the ace. Thje probability of this occuring is the same 2.71%. Therefore overall probability of getting a blackjack hand is 2.41% twice or 4.82% (same as getting 1 blackjack in every 20.72 hands).

From a basic strategy viewpoint it makes no difference how many hands you play or cars you see prior to surrendering. However, if you are card counting, it DOES make a big difference since you want to see as many cards as possible before you make the decision on whether or not to surrender.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
is there any systems or software that will allow you to play online as full time job?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Ron,

I donít know of any. You can make some money playing blackjack online but not enough to make a decent living. For more details see www.wizardofodds.com and www.gamemaster.com

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
when you double down on a blackjack hand, can you double down for less than your original bet?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear mary,

Yes you could always double down for less. But I donít recommend it. The reason you would double down to begin with is because you have the expectation of winning more money on the hand in the long run vs standing or hitting. Why diminish your expectation of making some money by betting less in a favorable situation?

Regards,

Henry Tamburin


Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Dear Sir,
I asked a question regarding the difference between surrender and late surrender(with regards to operational % hold for the casino)and the true odds on gaining a blackjack and the true odds on getting a blackjack of the same suit.Usually your replies are prompter.I was wondering if you havent replied because you are busy or perhaps you didnt receive the question,hence I am sending it again
Thanks,
Jules
---------------------------------

Dear Jules,

The chance of getting a blackjack in a single deck game is 1 in every 20.72 hands (4.82%). The chance of getting a blackjack of the same suit is 0.6%. I donít know what the increase or decrease is in the operational hold of a table with or without surrender. I suspect it is slightly higher because most players misuse the option.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
We are experiencing losses in BlackJack as a dealer and we do not understand why because we believe blackjacks and slots machines are the main source of income in a casino operation. As such, we would like to have your professional advice and opinion on this issue and kindly advice us on how to win as a dealer.
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear paul,

It appears to me you need the advice of a consultant to study the game you are offering. If you have the normal rules for blackjack and the dealer and players are not cheating you (the dealer) should be winning money in the long run (itís possible in the short run to perhaps lose especially if one or more players bet big in relation to other players and get lucky and win). I suggest you contact Jim Kilby at University of Nevada for help.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by LaMacchia.

---------------------------------
This is not a ? but a comment, The artical on casino warfare was great. Spenting 23 years in the Pits from a dearler on up. Gave me the real life experience with warfare. I've gone from the Casino pits to teaching casino management. Thank you and please keep up the great Work.

Mr. Peter F. LaMacchia
Director of Casino Studies
State University of New York
Charlton Hall Rm.114
Morrisville, New York 13408
(315)684-6393
Fax(315)684-6225
lamaccpf@morrisville.edu
http://www.morrisville.edu/academics/business/gaming_casino



I intend to use this artical in a classroom setting.

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your kind words and good luck with your course.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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---------------------------------




Your newsletter is great, I look forward to receiving. Having recently moved to northwest Arkansas from the west, we go to Tunica monthly rather than Vegas. (Vegas it's not, but the Horseshoe is outstanding.)

Would appreciate a newsletter on the 10 properties in Tunica.

Dear Lamaccpf,

Our next issue of BJ Insider (#12) will have some information on the blackjack rules in the Tunica casino. I am by the way looking for a regular BJ reporter that can report on the playing conditions in the Tunica casinos on a bi- monthly basis. If you know of anyone interested in the job, have them contact me.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
what is the easiest card counting system for a beginner card counter thanks Big Richie
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Richie,

The easiest is the K-O count (Knock-out Blackjack by Vencura and Fuchs) and the Key Card Count (Blackjack Bluebook by Fred Renzy). Fred will be writing some articles on card counting for BJ Insider in the near future.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
What is the difference between playing blackjack with one deck as opposed to a multiple decks. Do you use the same basic playing stratages or a different one.
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Stan,

There are some procedure differences (with one deck you hold the cards and with multiple decks you general donít). Also the playing rules are usually different and so is the basic playing strategy. Check out my archive article on "why single deck games are better" on www.BJInsider.com.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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