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BJI Newsletter, March, #110

Read this issue as a single web page


We are pleased to have one of the legends of blackjack, Ralph "Silver Fox" Stricker, contributing articles to the BJI. In his first article, Stricker retells the story of what made him decide on blackjack as a career. Attorney Robert Loeb summarizes what's happened on the legal front with blackjack including some important information about the application for the Apple iPhone and iPod that can be used to count cards at blackjack (which had made national news of late). If you are planning to visit one of the Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos, read the Gulf Coast Grinder's report on where to find the best blackjack games. Speaking of good blackjack games, Frank Scoblete reports on the new four-deck games with s17 that have appeared in at least one Atlantic City casino, and how bad things are getting for several other casinos. Alan Krigman takes a good look at how different playing options at blackjack affect the house edge. If you don't know what a CTR and SAR are, you better read Jean Scott's timely article on how to dodge the IRS. Jerry "Stickman" continues his series on dice control with an explanation of how to deliver the dice to the back wall to minimize randomizing the outcome of your throw. Reading those rules before a blackjack tournament is usually pretty boring but Kenneth Smith explains how important it is to do so based on his recent experience in a tournament. Joe Pane has the details on how you can play in FREE poker tournaments on your next trip to Las Vegas with the possibility of winning thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Speaking of poker, Bill Burton explains why all that trash talking you see and hear on televised poker tournaments just might not be your best long-term strategy. Casinos have started again to schedule blackjack tournaments and we have a summary of them courtesy of

Legonds of Blackjack


We are pleased to announce the upcoming publication of our latest e-book from BJI, Legends of Blackjack: The Stories of Players who Crushed the Casinos, by Kevin Blackwood and Larry Barker. This book is unlike any other blackjack book because it contains the true stories of the ingenious pioneers who unraveled the secrets to winning at blackjack and the legendary blackjack players and teams who used this information to win millions of dollars in casinos throughout the world. The events and stories in the book are fascinating and much of the information has never before appeared in print. Stay tuned for more details about this remarkable book in next month's issue of the BJI.

Henry Tamburin

If you come across an unfamiliar blackjack term in one of our articles or reports, see our Blackjack Glossary:

Did you know we have all past newsletter issues available in our archives, with online search?

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    E-mail subscribers can also read each month's issue online at our web site: BJI Issue #110, March 2009.

    BJI Newsletter, March 2009, #110
    single web page for printing and offline viewing

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    HOW IT BEGAN by Ralph "Silver Fox" Stricker

    "My name is Ralph Stricker, also known in the blackjack community as the "Silver Fox." I've been asked many times how I got started teaching and playing blackjack for a living. Actually I didn't intend to do either at first; here's the true story of how I made blackjack my career..."

    Read Stricker's complete article.


    "I'm going to try to cover the last year in legal developments as they relate to blackjack and advantage play. I'm not aware of any landmark cases or developments that dramatically change the legal landscape for gamblers, but there are a lot of small developments that should interest both casual and very serious players..."

    Read Loeb's complete article.


    "The blackjack games in this neck of the woods have deteriorated over the past year but there are still some good games. And I aim to tell you where you'll find them..."

    Read Grinder's complete article.

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    ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Frank and Alene Scoblete

    "The three Trump casinos (Taj Mahal, Plaza and Marina) are in deep, deeper and deepest trouble respectively. The whole Trump casino operation, no longer owned by Trump, is bankrupt, and there is serious talk that if these casinos can't be sold or enough money can't be borrowed...well, that's the sound of the door slamming shut..."

    Read Scoblete's complete article.


    "Highly-informed blackjack buffs know the precise house edge they fight by following the rigorous basic playing strategy. When the rules allow doubling down on any two cards, resplitting to as many as four hands, and doubling after splitting, the house edge is only 0.402225 and 0.429881 percent for six- and eight-deck games, respectively. The edge arises simply from wins by the house when the player and the dealer both bust. But, what do the values mean in a practical sense..."

    Read Krigman's complete article.

    READ THOSE RULES by Kenneth Smith

    "Reading the rules of a blackjack tournament sounds like a pretty boring job, and in truth, it is. But unless you are already very familiar with an event, you are shortchanging yourself if you neglect this important part of preparing to play. For an illustration of this, consider what happened to me recently in a major event..."

    Read Smith's complete article.

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    DODGING THE IRS by Jean Scott

    "Most gamblers have heard by now that the IRS requires that you report all of your gambling activities but many, unfortunately, mistakenly believe that you can stay "under the IRS radar" if you never receive any paperwork from them (like a W-2G or 1099). However, this is becoming more difficult, as many "undercover" gamblers have been finding out (sometimes the hard way via an IRS audit)..."

    Read Scotts's complete article.


    "Random shooters don't worry about how they deliver the dice. They just pick them up, shake them in their hands, and fling them down the table hoping the result will be favorable. This is fine for the random player, but for a dice controller, how the dice are delivered to the back wall greatly influences the final result..."

    Read Stickman's complete article.


    "The Nevada Poker League just arrived in Las Vegas in January, 2009, and it's the way for you to find out if you do, in fact, have what it takes to take your tournament skills and use them to achieve success in the poker arena without ... and get this ... leaving your blackjack (or other gaming) bankroll to the sharks of poker to eat away at. How? Read on for the good news..."

    Read Pane's complete article.

    Poker Drill Master for Windows


    "There is no denying that television is largely responsible for the popularity of Texas Holdem and the increased number of people playing poker these days. Everyone knows, or should know, that these televised tournaments are edited down to show only the most dramatic and interesting moments. While these edited tournaments may make for an entertaining TV, it can lead to the wrong impression about playing poker and the behavior of the players..."

    Read Burton's complete article.


    "Check out the schedule of major blackjack tournaments in March by region in our Blackjack Tournament Report courtesy of"

    Read the complete tournament schedule.

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