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Readers Q&A #29

 

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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what is double down ?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Michael,

A double down in blackjack is a playing option in which after you receive your initial two cards you can wager an amount equal to your initial bet (or less) and the dealer will give you one and only one draw card. For example suppose you bet $5 and the dealer gives you a 7-4 and she shows a 6 upcard. You can double down on your 11 by betting another $5 and the dealer will give you one card (of course you are hoping to receive a 10 or picture card which will give you 21). There are specific hands that you should double down and that is part of the basic playing strategy.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Is hitting on 12 vs. 4 the proper basic strategy play if the 12 consists of a 10-value and a 2? I've heard that hitting is the correct play for that situation in games with 6 or less decks.
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Kevin,

If you have a 10+2 against dealer 4, the correct composition strategy is to hit in single & double deck games (dear hits or stands on soft 17). With 4 deck games, you should hit if dealer stands on soft 17 and stand if he hits soft 17. Ditto for 6 deck games. You can find the complete strategy based on the composition of your hand at www.wizardofodds.com appendix #9. Be careful, though, because the gain for changing your strategy based on the composition of your hand is very, very small (the information is useful if you are playing blackjack on the internet in a single deck game with shuffling after every hand).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Dear Henry
Of all the professed systems that say you will win over the long hual using their system would you mind recommending the most successful system you have seen that even a beginner can master? I have heard that the sequencing system is best. Please tell me what you think?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Marc,

If youíve never tried to learn card counting and want to, Iíd recommend the KO Count by Vencura and Fuchs. I recommend it for beginners because itís easier itís learn and use and almost as powerful as other level one counting systems (reason itís easier is because it is an unbalanced counting system so you donít need to convert a running count to true count). Itís also been successfully used by many players. You can find the complete system in the book Knock Out Blackjack by Vencura and Fuchs. Weíve also published several unbalanced counting systems by Fred Renzey in Blackjack Insider newsletter (www.BJInsider.com/newsletter.shtml).These are even easier to use then the K-O count but the trade off is that you edge is slightly lower and your bankroll requirements for same risk is slightly higher.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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1. What is your basic advice to hide that you're counting cards?

2. When you sit at a table, can you skip a round when you don't feel like playing it? or do you have to play the minimal bet as long as you're sitting?

Regards, Paul.
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear Paul,

You can read an article I wrote on how to disguise the fact you are card counting in the article archives at www.BJInsider.com (article Barred While Playing Blackjack). You can skip a few rounds if youíd like but I wouldnít do it too often. Itís best to take a bathroom break. Be careful because in some casinos that bar midshoe entry they wonít let you skip a hand (or if you do, they wonít let you bet again till the next shoe Ė this has happened me to only once just recently in Las Vegas).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Am I allowed to have my blackjack strategy card on the table in a casino? if yes, are there restrictions for the size and the way I use it?

Regards, Paul.

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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Paul,

Itís been my experience that most casinos will allow you to place a small pocket size strategy card directly on the table. Iíve also seen casinos not allow 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of pager on the table. Also some casinos wonít even allow the small pocket card on the table. My advice is to hold the strategy card in your hand or lap when you play and refer to it without placing it on the table. That way you wonít have any potential problem with a pit boss asking you to remove the card from the table.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by bj1950.

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Follow-up to Peggy's question and your reply. If, for example, it is obvious that you are not counting but your bets vary widely, do you still run the risk of being banned. If you're simply betting big and winning, how can they justify banning someone.
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

<>

Dear bj1950,

Theoretically, the casinos can bar anyone they want for no reason (as long as they donít discriminate against race, color or creed). The only exception is Atlantic City, where they canít bar blackjack players like they do in most casino jurisdictions. There have been cases where casinos have barred players who vary their bets based on a betting progression (not counting). I wouldnít be concerned since this is the exception rather than the rule. Just play skillfully and gradually make incremental jumps in your bet size 9either up or down) and you should be OK.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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What should my bankroll be?

--

I am planning on setting up a very small, weekely blackjack game for myself and a few friends. What should the bankroll be and what should the max bets be.

We are thinking $600 bankroll and $1 to $20 bets. Would this work, or would this not be enough?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear theman,

Having a $20 max betting limit per person with a $600 bankroll seems to risky to me. It really depends on the number of players and the rules you set for the game (i.e. how much edge will the house have). If you are planning on using the casino standard playing rules, Iíd up the bankroll or decrease the max. bet.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by bj1950.

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Can you name some of the best Blackjack games on cd-rom and or downloadable programs. I'm interested in programs that will keep track of statistics, allow settings for various rules, track your previous bets and are fast. Not interested in glitzy graphics.
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear tlwhite,

Iíd recommend these programs: Blackjack 6-7-8 by Stickysoft and Blackjack Trainer by Conjelco. They are available at www.gamblersbookclub.com.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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