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Q&A #16

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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You probably get ? like this all the time however this is an actual experience that happened on 4-10-01 @ Beau in Bilouxi. Double deck pitch what are odds of dealer 5 yes that's five BJ in a ROW some ace up some down. Two players for 3 BJ then just me. Two hands after 5 BJ changed dealers. I LEFT ALSO !!
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Woody,

Here’s a response from Fred Renzey that appeared in Blackjack Insider #17 in response to your question.. It contains a correction to the answer to your question which appeared in BJ Insider #16 (there was an error in our calculations which fred Renzey picked up. See his response below).

"I just read B/J Insider #16. It appears that somebody misinterpreted the probability of getting 5 consecutive blackjacks in double deck play. Of course, the person who witnessed the event didn't say whether all 5 B/J's came during the same shuffle -- and he didn't say what cards came out of play in the other players' hands (the dealer's next blackjack would come more easily when the other players held smaller cards. But sometimes it would come harder because they held 10 and/or Aces).


Not knowing this, we must assume that all cards except those consuming the blackjacks are still available. Then the probability for the first blackjack would be .0478. With an Ace and 10 now gone, the second would be .0421; the third .0364; the fourth .0305 and the fifth .0246.


That all multiplies out to a probability of .000000055 or odds of 18,195,067 to 1! If the deck was shuffled after every blackjack, the odds would then be 4,000,000 to 1".

______________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Dear Expert
Great site!!!!! I am from Denmark, and all the casino are playing with the European no-hole rule (6 decks, S17, DAS, D9/10/11, no surrender). I have the Basic Strategy Chart for these rules, but have doubts about the deviation (when card counting) listet in Advanced Blackjack Playing - Part 5. Particular:
16 vs. 10 Stand at +1 or higher
15 vs. 10 Stand at +5 or higher
10,10 vs. 10 Double at +5 or higher
11 vs. ace Double at +1 or higher
10 vs. ace Double at +5 or higher

Could you give me some guidelines how to play with the no-hole rule?.

Thanks, Anders

P.S. Is it possible to gain the edge with these rules?
---------------------------------



Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Anders,

The indices for 16 vs 10 and 15 vs 10 would be the same. For a double down against a dealer’s 10 or ace, the indices would be different. Unfortunately I have not done studies with the European rules so I do not know what the indices would be for the European rules (you may want to post on www.bj21.com to see if anyone there has them). Until you know what the insices are for the double down hands, I would use the basic stratgey for these plays. The casino’s edge with European rules is about 0.6%. The game you describe is beatable if you count and spread your bets from 1 to 10-12 untis and be properly bankrolled (at least 100 times your max. bet).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

___________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Have you played at Foxwoods and/or Mohegan Sun? Your opinion of them?

What is your opinion of the Ace-5 county system?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Lhouse,

Yes I’ve played at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. I liked the facilities but not the blackjack games because they deal only 6 and 8 decks games (I prefer 1 and 2 deck games) and the tables were always crowded. The rules were not bad (s17, ds, ls ).

The ace – 5 count is a basic balanced counting system. There are better counting systems that are just as simple to use and more powerful. The one I recommend is Renzey’s Key Card Count (Blackjack Bluebook) which is an unbalanced counting system (no need to convert running count o true count).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
What does it take to be a winner in this game?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Caleb,

To win at blackjack you need to know:

  1. Basic Playing strategy
  2. Card coutning system
  3. Increasing your bets when you have the edge (as determined by your card counting system)
  4. Changing some playing strategy depending upon your count
  5. Proper bankroll
  6. Disguising your skills
  7. Discipline

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

---------------------------------
Are there any situations for which you should exercise the "Guarantee 20" option if it is available? The Grand Victoria riverboat casino in Rising Sun, Indiana just started offering it; is it something that is new everywhere?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Blaire,

You question was answered in Blackjack Insider newsletter #17. Here it is again.

Answer by Fred Renzey:

The "Guarantee 20" option was invented by a pit boss at Harrah's in Joliet, IL. Like all new propositions, it is a house edge gimmick. Here's how it works.


Whenever you're dealt a 20 on your first two cards the dealer will delay turning up his up-card until you either accept or reject the "guarantee". If you accept it, the dealer will pay you a half bet profit on your wager and you're out of the hand -- all this before you see the dealer's up-card (however, if the dealer happens to have a blackjack when you've accepted the guarantee, you'll be paid a full 3-2 on your wager).


If you reject the guarantee, he'll then turn up his up-card and if it happens to be a 10, he'll first check to see if he has blackjack. If he doesn't, you'll then be offered a "second chance" to accept the guarantee, this time against his 10 up. If you reject that opportunity also, the hand will be played out in the normal fashion.


If you take the guarantee before you see the dealer's up-card, the house has the best of you by 2.9%. If you take the "second chance" option against a playable 10 up, they've got you by 5.6%. Thus, Guarantee 20 should be ignored.


Now for your question of whether you should ever take the guarantee. If you're a card counter, the higher the count, the less bad "Guarantee 20" is for you. My cursory analysis indicates that if the "hi/lo" true count is +6 or higher, you should take it before seeing the dealer's up-card. This will occur on about 2% of your 20's. The count would have to get up to an unrealistic number however, to make taking the "second chance" option profitable.


This option was available at Empress Hammond, IN for about a year and has since been removed.

(Editors note: As far as I know, this option has not been offered in any other gaming venue).

_____________________________________________________________________________-

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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when is the best time to take insurance.
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Astin,

The best time to take insurance is when the ratio of non-tens to tens in the unplayed deck(s) of cards is greater than 2. The only way to know this is to learn how to count the cards. Insurance is a profitable bet for card counters because they know when the deck becomes ten rich.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

__________________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Hi Henry,

What changes to normal basic strategy play should be made with the European no hole card rule?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

You should use the normal basic strategy except do NOT double down or pair split any hand when the dealer shows a 10 or ace upcard.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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

I am a relatively new player at blackjack and I have been studying some card counting systems. I've read Ken Uston's book "Million Dollar Blackjack" and my question is this: In Ken Uston's book he teaches a simple +/- count that counts 3-7 as +1 as opposed to 2-6 as +1. What difference does this shift in numbers make in playing blackjack?

Thanks,
alyuen
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Alyuen,

According to John May (Get the Edge at Blackjack), here are the betting, playing, and insurance efficiencies for the two counts (the higher the efficiency the closer it is to a perfect system).

Uston +/- betting (0.95); playing (0.55); insurance (0.76)

Hi-Lo betting 0.97); playing (0.51); insurance 0.76)

The two counts are similar but a count’s betting efficiency is most important and the numbers give the nod to the High Low over the Uston +/-.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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I'm a basic strategy player and needed to know if the continues shufflers have any effect on my game? I use a progessive betting system in which I increase my bet after a win. Does the continues shuffler lower my odds of going on a winning streak?
---------------------------------




Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>


Dear Scott,

The continuous shuffler does not change the odds. But it allows the dealer to deal a faster game or more hands per hour which means as a basic strategy player your hourly loss rate will increase. You are better off when you don’t have the edge to play at a slower game (your progressive betting system will not get you the edge).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin


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