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Readers Q&A #17

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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A local Indian casino has recently introduced a continuous shoe machine. Each hand immediately after it is shuffled is put in the machine, and the dealer pulls out the next hand. Apparently all the cards are then shuffled. Does this then create randomized decks for each new hand? The casino lets you double any two first cards and DAS, which it doesn't on single decks. Would this make it advantageous to play this continuous shoe?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Joe,

The manufacturers of the new continuous shuffling machines (CSM) claim their shoes randomly mix the cards after each hand (or several hands in some cases) thereby making the game of blackjack virtually impossible to beat by conventional card counting & shuffling techniques. Even though the casino you mentioned offers good rules in their CSM games, the problem with CSM games is speed. The dealer takes no breaks for shuffling therefore you will be dealt more hands per hour. This will translate into a higher hourly loss rate for most casual players that don’t have the edge. I’d stay away from the CSM games.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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What are the good blackjack software?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Scott,

The two blackjack software that I recommend is Blackjack Trainer by Conjelco and Blackjack 6 7 8 by Stickysoft. You can read a review of the latter in Blackjack Insider #17.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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How much is the basic strategy altered if I would stand on 12 vs. a Dealer upcard of 2 or 3? I am tired of busting myself at third base, instead of the Dealer busting.
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Dean,

When you hit a 12 when the dealer shows a 2 you stand to lose $26 out of every $100 bet. If you stand instead you would lose on average $30 out of every $100 bet or $4 more then hitting (which is why hitting a 12 against a dealer 2 is the preferred play). Keep in mind that whether you stand or hit, you are in a losing position (you lose 63% of the hands if you hit and 65% of the hands when you stand). If you hold 12 and the dealer shows a 3 upcard here are the stats:

If you hit you stand to lose 62% of the hands and win only 38% of them.

If you stand, you will lose 63% of the hands and win only 37% of them.

This nets to an average loss of $24 per $100 bet when you hit 12 against dealer’s 3 and $26 loss when you stand. Again you’ll save $2 in the long run if you hit which is why it is the correct basic strategy play.

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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What is the feather guard on a blackjack dealing shoe called?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Skylar,

You stumped me on this question. So I called a supplier of dealing shoes in Vegas. She told me the feather guard goes by curtain, brushes, or slide face.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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I was wondering if you have any tips for playing in a BJ tournament?
Betting strategy, etc...
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Seth,

Here are some tips.

  1. Only play in tournaments where the sponsor returns all the entry fees in prizes (100% return).
  2. Bet conservatively at the start and wait ti make bigger bets as the round progresses.
  3. If you are behind a leader and trying to catch up try to bet differently then he/she.
  4. If you are in the leas, try to match the bets of your fellow players trying to catch you.
  5. The most important hand is the last one. Learn how to estimate a player’s bankroll (by eyeballing his stack of chips). Learn how much you should bet on the last hand to either maintain the lead or possibly catch the leader.
  6. Understand that sometimes you may have to make unorthodox plays on the last hand if that ia what it will take to win the table (like doubling down on 12 or 13 to get more money on the table and a chance to catch the leader.
  7. Practice with inexpensive fun tournaments before you try the major tournaments.

There is an excellent book on tournaments by Stanford Wong and also Wong’s Tournament Blackjack software allows you to develop and practice your tournament skills.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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If using the "Basic Strategy", what is the best betting strategy? I've heard that you increase the bet each time you win.
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Scott,

Believe it or not from a mathematical standpoint the best betting strategy if you are using the basic strategy and not counting is to always bet the same amount on each hand. I realize this is not fun for most players. You should only increase your bet when you have the edge and the only way you’ll know this is if you card count. Fred Renzey offers a simple Ace/10 Front Count in BJ Insider #15 & 16 which is as simple a counting system as you will find. I strongly encourage you to consider using it. If you still insist on using only basic strategy (no counting whatsoever) I’d use a simple win progression to make your sessions more exciting but knowing full well varying your bets based on whether the last hand won or lost will NOT change the casino'’s edge against you (Thomason’s progression in his book, 21st Century Blackjack). Do not use a betting system that requires you to increase your bets following a loss. Try Renzey’s Ace/10 Count – it’s easy to use and it will decrease the casino’s edge.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Henry , What is best counting system to use for blackjack that have 3 decks and auto shuffling in a machine in terms of accuracy and simplicity.

Please advise
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Andrew,

I’d recommend the High Low count for 3 decks. If you find converting the running count to true count is to much to handle then I would suggest using the KO Count (the latter is very good for 6/8 deck games and less efficient but overall still OK for 1 and 2 deck games). I assume the shuffler you refer to is NOT a continuous shuffler machine.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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If the dealer is dealing blackjack, and a player recieves blackjack, but at the same time the dealer recieves a "10" face up and an ace face down, who wins. Is the dealers hand considered blackjakck, and does the dealer beat the player in this situation?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Sean,

The dealer in the situation you described also has a blackjack and he would tie the player’s blackjack hand (the player doesn’t win or lose the bet – it’s a push). It makes no difference if the dealer’s face up card is a 10 and his downcard an ace or vice versa – he still would have a blackjack (by definition a blackjack is a two card initially dealt hand that totals 21).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Are you going to update the BJ Tournament Schedule for dates past June? Thanks!

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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Gene,

The latest Blackjack Insider (#18) has the tournament schedule from June through the beginning of October.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin
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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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What are my chances of getting a blackjack first hand out of shoe?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Casey,

The chance of getting a blackjack first hand from a 6-deck shoe is 4.75%.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Are the black jack games offered in electronic form in the internet sources really fully random. How do we know that they are not programmed, like the gaming machines, to ensure winning by the house in the long run?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Kwang,

They are suppose to be random. You don’t really know, however, that they are. But since Internet sites that offer blackjack have the edge over most blackjack players plus they don’t have a lot of overhead (dealers to pay, etc.) I don’t think they would risk getting a bad reputation by ‘fixing’ their software or cheating a customer. They already have the advantage based on the rules and payoffs to ensure that they will win in the long run. Just make sure you stick to a reputable Internet site that uses one of the major software providers (eg. Boss Media Software). Check these sites also for independent reviews and recommendations of different sites that offer blackjack - www.gamemasteronline.com and www.wizardofodds.com.


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