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Readers Q&A #10

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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I have had a lot of success splitting tens in the right situation, is it ever alright to do it?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Heather,

It is never correct to split 10ís unless you are a card counter. If you are a basic strategy player, donít do it!

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________

Hello

if u become a card counter is it true u can win....also say u have Ace
and a 7 and the dealer's up card is 5 by right u should double down.... But
suppose u are counting and u have a minus 6....now u know there are more low
cards... do u still double down....

<>

Dear ?,

  1. Yes itís true that you can win more then you lose if you learn card counting. Your advantage is a long term advantage so over the short term you will have plenty of losing sessions. However, as you can continue to play, you will have more then your fair share of winning sessions to offset the lossing ones so overall yu will eventually show a profit..
  2. You should still double down on soft 18 vs dealer 5 at true count equal to Ė6. You have to learn the departs to the basic strategy. There are about 16 important ones which I review in my advanced blackjack articles on www.BJInsider.com. Donít guess Ė you must learn the exact value of true count for each deviation to the basic strategy (for your example of ace 7 vs 5, the deaperture is at true count of Ė16 Ė which basically means you should always double soft 18 against a 5.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,



The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
What do you think of shuffle tracking and ace location

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




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Wesley,

Shuffle tracking and ace location are advanced techniques to gain the advantage at blackjack. You can read about both techniques in John Mayís book, Get the Edge at Blackjack. These techniques take a long time to learn and implement. Much longer than card counter. The techniques work (as long as the casinoís are not using a continuous shuffle machine) and I would recommend them to an advanced player who wants to take his game to the next level.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________

How about reviewing blackjack instructional software. I currently use the
package with World's series of Poker. Is the a good package for
instruction - Not play- but instruction? I would be interested is the
opinion of pro's on the software.

Paul Hosmer

<>

Dera Paul,

I am not familiar with the blackjack instructional software you mentioned.. Two programs that I can recommend are Blackjack 6 7 8 and Blackjack Trainer. We plan to review these and other software in upcoming issues of BJ Insider.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
When should a player tip the dealer?
How much should a player tip the dealer?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Mitch,

Youíll find guidelines for how to tip the dealer in Blackjack Insider #2 (www.BJInsider.com/newsletter.shtml.

As a general rule you should make a bet for the dealer equal to 10-30% of your bet on the hand (eg if you make a $5 bet, Iíd recommend a tip bet equal to $1-$3). Iíd make a maximum of two or three tip bets per hour so that the toatl of your bets equals about half your average bet (if you average bet is $10 per hand, Iíd suggest making tip bets such that they total $5). And I certainly wouldnít tip a dealer who is not friendly and helpful.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
In general how long are your playing session and if you are ahead at what point do you take the money and run?

Thanks
LDJ
---------------------------------
Dear LDJ,

If you are a non-counter, Iíd make my playing sessions as long it takes me to either win or lose 25% of my session stake. Say you start with $100 session bank. If you start winning set quit goals equal to $125, $150, $175, $200, etc. Everytime you pass a quit level keep playing but stop if your bankroll drops below the last quit level. That will ensure you leave the table with a profit (even if itís a small profit, itís better then a loss). If you start losing Iís get up after and try another table after youíve lost 25% of your bankroll.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

In general what pecentage of a session win should a
player take the money and run? Also what are the
mathematical advantages to the technique?

Thanks
Playmaker21

Dear Playmaker,

I suggest playing with quit levels equal to 25% increments of a playerís starting bankroll and then stopping when the playerís bankroll drops below the last quit level. For example, if a player starts with a $100 session bankroll, his quit levels are $125, $150, $175, $200, etc). if he wins he keeps playing to achieve the next highest quit level. He should stop playing when his bankroll drops below the last quit level. For example if the player starts winning and achieves a total bankroll of $190 then starts to lose, he should stop playing when his bankroll reaches $175 (take the money and run). There is no mathematical advantage to this technique. It is only a psychological advantage Ė quitting with a profit is a hell of a lot better then losing it and leaving with a loss.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
I'm hoping you can tell me how to think more efficiently, because I'm getting myself terribly confused. I've been dealing myself hands, trying to teach myself to count the cards, let me give you an example. I deal myself two fours, and show a ten for the dealer. My first thought is that my running count is now +1 (+1 each for my fours, and -1 for the ten) and then I decide I don't want to split fours against a ten. I hit, and get a three. So I mentally add three to eight, and 1 to 1 for my running count. Obviously I don't want to stop with eleven, so I take another card, this time a four. So I add 1 to 2 for three and add 4 to 11 for 15. I take another card, an ace. Now I'm subtracting 1 from 3 and subtracting one from fifteen... wait, adding one to fifteen. I get so confused trying to tally my cards and keep a running total at the same time, that it's taking me much too long to decide what I need to do. Is there a trick to this, or do I just need to keep practicin!
g?
---------------------------------
Dera Jeff,

You donít have to count every card. Learn to scan groups of cards and cancel the high cards with the low cards. Practice this by throwing 4-8 cards on the table, look at them, and mentally cancel the high card with the low cards to get an overall count for the grouping of cards. When you count in a multiple deck game where all the cards are faced, this is how you would count each players hand (cancel the high cards and low cards per hand then whatís left is the count for the hand that you add to your existing running count). When you are trying to play out your hand, concentrate on playing your hand accurately with the up to minute count. The pick up the running count with your cards. You can use blackjack software to help develop counting skills. One that is designed to teach professional level counting skills is SmartCards. Other programs that help develop your counting skills are Blackjack Trainer and Blackjack

6 7 8 . They are available from www.gamblersbook.com.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin
_____________________________________________________________________________________-

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
I LIKE EVERYTHING YOU SAY ABOUT BLACKJACK I GREED WITH YOU I NEED A GOOD BOOK ON CARDCOUNTING?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Rocco,

Three beginner books on card counting that I can recommend are Knock-Out Blackjack by Vencura and Fuchs; Blackjack Bluebook by Renzey, and my Blackjack:Take The Money & Run. All three are available from amazon.com.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
what is the most easy and simple cardcounting system to use?and best simple book for cardcounter to buy? make it easy? i been tryingALL SYSTEM?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Taffy,

Two of the easiest counting systems is the balanced High Low count and the unbalanced KO Count. You can read about the High Low count in my Blackjack: Take The Money & Run and the KO count in Knock-Out Blackjack by Vencura and Fuchs. Another even simpler count (but not as powerful) is Renzeyís Key Card Count which is described in his book, Blackjack Bluebook. We will also feature Renzeyís Ace/10 Front Count which is one of the easiest counting systems Iíve seen in an upcoming issue of Blackjack Insider newsletter.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

___________________________________________________________________________

Is the strategy different when playing with a single deck as opposed to a multideck? If so how?

Dear ?

Yes the strategy is slightly different. As a quick rule of thumb in single & double deck games compared to 4, 6 and 8 deck games you would vary the strategy on these plays: double on 9 vs 2, double 11 on dealerís ace, double a/3 on dealerís 4, and split 6,6 against dealerís 2. You can obtain and print the complete playing stratgey for any number of decks of cards using the blackjack basic strategy engine at www.blackjackinfo.com

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

___________________________________________________________________________________




Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
If a casino dealer places the dealt cards into a shuffling machine after each hand, is there any advantage to a player in using a card counting system ?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Reyburn,

No there is no advantage for the counter. However, these automatically shuffling machines also cause the average player to lose more because more hands are dealt per hour (avoid them if you can). You may also want to check out Michael Shackelfordís analysis of these machines in Blackjack Insider #8 (www.BJInsider.com/newsletter.shtml.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Does basic stategy apply regardless of how many cards you have? It seems to me after drawing a 4 card 16, it is usually better to stay. Without counting cards, it still appears that a 10 is due.
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Charles,

The basic strategy does not take into consideration the number of cards the player holds and more importantly the composition of the cards in the hand. The reason is that the gain for the player is slight and the effort to memorize all different combinations of a hand against all possible dealer upcards is great. You can find composition depending strategy for 2 or more cards per hand on Michael Shackelfordís web site (www.wizardofodds.com in the appendix of the blackjack section). One rule that you should incorporate in your basic strategy is that if dealer shows a 10 and your hard 16 multi-card hand contains any 4ís or 5ís, then you should stand and not hit.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________





Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
hi henry, I am starting to learn card counting. ko count 2to7 +1 8and9 zero 10 and face cards-1 Ace-1 Am i doing this count OK Is this a good count? Thanks Carl
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Carl,

Youíve picked a good count to learn (KO unbalanced count). The tags you mention for each card is correct. Just keep practicing and in short order you will be able to count the cards.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Dear Henry,
I have another question about blackjack players' common beliefs:
I have noticed that many players say that it is important to play consistently. I think this is wrong (unless consistently means according to the Basic Strategy), but I would like to understand the "consistency" rationale. Can you explain? Thank you!
Sincerely,
Will
Las Vegas
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Will,

There is no correlation between how well your fellow players play and your chances of winning at blackjack. You could have 5 chimps playing at your table and it wouldnít matter. However, if you are a card counter, bad play by a clueless player can effect a counterís win rate (like the player incorrectly hitting and taking high cards from ten rich deck out of play). But for the average player, your fellow playerís skill or lack of doesnít make a difference.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Dear Henry,
Many players say that you need to play together to beat the dealer, or that the person at 3rd base has to play right. Even if these statements are wrong, could you please explain their rationale? And how would players working together play differently from those playing "selfishly"? Similarly, how would players at 3rd base play differently from those not at 3rd base?

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Will
Las Vegas
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Will,

Playerís rational for saying this is that they have the misconeption that the third base player needs to make certain plays to 'Ďsave the table and have the dealer break". If a third base player hits a stiff hand like 15 against a dealerís small upcard and draws a 10, then the dealer flips over a 10 and draws a another small card to make good most fellow players would go bezerk. They wouls day that the thrid base player took the dealerís bust card by playing incorrectly causing the entire table to lose. of course on that one hand they are correct but averaged over many, many hands it doesnít make any difference how the third base player plays.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________


Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Why is splitting a pair of 4's vs. a 5 or 6 the best thing to do? Whenever I do that I get plenty of funny looks from other players, and even most of the dealers seem surprised that I want to split instead of double down. The casinos that I go to in Indiana allow doubling after a split, so I know that splitting is the correct play. I would sincerely appreciate your explanation, so I am better prepared to defend my correct action to other players who think I'm crazy. Thanks much.
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Kevin,

In a single deck game you should double down on a pair of 4ís when the dealer shows a 5 or 6. In multiple deck games the better strategy is to split the 4ís when the dealer shows a 5 or 6 (with DAS). The reason that pair splitting isnít as proitable in single deck games is because of the fragile effect of card removal. In a single deck game the 4, 5 and 6ís are important cards for the dealer to make his hand and not bust when he has a stiff hand. By removing the 4ís and 5 and 6 from the deck, the dealerís chance of busitng increases therefore doubling becomes a profitable play. it could also be that your friends are confused on single vs multiple deck strategy.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
On a day when the dealer is very strong and i am not winning inspite of my ability to count cards should i leave the table and if so how much i should lose before leaving? I am playing between $25 to $100
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Ricky,

Theoretically it doesnít make a difference when you leave. If the count is positive your should bet more regardless if you are having a lousy session. However, in practice it can be psychologocally devastating if you continue to make bets on positive counts and lose hand after hand. My advice from strictly psychological standpoint is to take a hike if you lose 50% of your session bankroll and try another table.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
I have a 10 or 11 but the dealer is showing a 8 or 9 should I try and double or should I just hit?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Japac,

If you have a 10 or 11 and the dealer shows an 8 or 9 the lost profitable play is to double down. You wonít win every time but you will win more money in the long run when you double vs hitting.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

______________________________________________________________________________________


<>


Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
I have read 2 different opinions of what to do with a pair of 2's versus a dealer's 3 showing. One syas to split the 2's in a single deck game. the other says just hit in situations where you can't DAS. Well, in all the 1 deck games that I've played, you can't DAS. So what is the correct way assuming that you are not card counting?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Ron,

In a single deck game with or without DAS you should always split 2ís against a dealerís 3 upcard.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

__________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
In a recent article by Henry Tamburin "Choosing Your Game", I don't quite understand the percentages that are listed. For instance, The games here in Detroit are 6 deck with DAS, double on any 2 cards, stand on soft 17. According to the chart I lose -.53% for the 6 deck, +2.32% for the natural blackjack, +.06% for Resplitting aces, +.13% for DAS. This put me at 1.98% advantage. This doesn't seen right. Am I missing something?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Ron,

The +2.32% casino edge in the table for a natural is when the casinos pays at 2 to 1 (instead of the standard 3 to 2). In the casinos in Detroit they pay playerís naturals at 3 to 2 therefore using the rest of the information in the table, you will arrive at an estimated casino edge of about 0.4% (6 deck, DAS, dealer stands on soft 17).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
At the Online Black Jack...is there a possibility that the software can be manupulated while the game is on?

At what I observed and played at he online Black Jack games when the player bet high they always lost
.
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Zamri,

Itís possible but highly improbable. The vast majority of blackjack games from reputable software companies (like Boss Media) are on the level. You can check out the Internet sites that use Boss Media and other reputable software companies at www.wizardofodds.com and www.gamemasteronline.com.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
hi my nam is buddyr1937
i wuld like to no what on line casinos i canplay with my webtv and if they are relilabl sites or if ou no any good ones that i dont have to down load thank you broache@webtv.nt
dennis roache
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Dennis,

Check out these sites for a list of reputable on-line sites that would meet your requirement.

www.wizardofodds.com and www.gamemasteronline.com.

 

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