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BJI Newsletter, April, #111

Read this issue as a single web page


We begin the April issue of BJI with the inside story of the new book, "Legends of Blackjack," by the book's authors, Kevin Blackwood and Larry Barker. This book contains some never-before-told, true stories of some of the legendary players and teams that have won millions playing blackjack. I found the book fascinating; as a blackjack aficionado, I'm sure you will too...

Legends of Blackjack


True Stories of Players
Who Crushed the Casinos

Kevin Blackwood and Larry Barker

Click here to buy Legends of Blackjack now...
only $14.95 for this great e-book

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.

You'll Read About:

  • The remarkable exploits of the legendary Czech blackjack team and how they pounded the casinos in Atlantic City, Europe, Africa, Korea, and elsewhere.
  • The true story of the MIT Team, and how the team led by John Chang and Mike Aponte won millions from casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, the Caribbean, and Connecticut.
  • How Frank Salerno developed and implemented the revolutionary Big Player ploy for his successful blackjack teams.
  • The story behind Tommy Hyland and his famous blackjack teams who have been a major force in the blackjack world for decades and are still going strong.
  • How Ed Thorp invented card counting and tested his strategy in Reno.
  • The history and story behind the development and use of the concealed blackjack computers first developed by the genius Keith Taft and later refined by Mickey Weinberg (including rare photos of these computers).
  • The colorful blackjack story of Tommy "The Terminator" Andropulis, one of the most feared blackjack players of all time.
  • The stories and contributions made by the great blackjack teachers and pioneers: Stanford Wong, Ralph Stricker, Anthony Curtis, Donald Schlesinger, Bryce Carlson, and others.
  • Plus the world's best blackjack players, the greatest innovators, the smartest guys, the greatest achievements, and an answer to the question: "Who is the greatest player of all time?"

Click here to read a sample chapter on George Hascik, the leader of the famous Czech blackjack team.

The buzz in Vegas these days is the grand opening of the $1.6 billion M Resorts, and BJI writer Joe Pane was there to check out the games (blackjack is very good) and the facility (yours truly also visited M; see Joe's article for my comments). Ralph "Silver Fox" Stricker continues to reminisce about his career as a professional player and teacher. If you are heading to Tunica, don't miss reading Jerry "Stickman's" detailed report on the playing conditions there; Jerry has the particulars on blackjack, craps and video poker for each casino, and also the inventory of advantageous slots. Likewise, JPB visited the casinos in Tuscon, AZ and reports on the blackjack playing conditions there. Players are pissed-off about the games, and how they are being treated in Atlantic City these days, and Frank Scoblete summarized some of their gripes; Frank also has an update on where you'll find the best blackjack (and craps) games in A.C. You've got to read LVBear's growls this month because they are amazing including a rare, but well deserved, praise for the new M casino for paying a video poker player $10,000 for a royal flush when the payoff should have been set at $1000. Some blackjack tournaments are taking a page from the Texas Hold'em tournament formats and offering a no-limit betting format. How should you bet in a blackjack tournament with this format? Read Monkeysystem's article for the details. Jerry "Stickman" continues his series on dice control with solid advice on what you should do if you encounter either a "bouncy" or "dead" table, or the pit is harassing you while you set the dice, or you see piles of chips on the layout at the far end of the table on your landing zone (some great advice on how to adjust your throw under these conditions). Sometimes when you play poker, you start losing for no apparent reason. Bill Burton offers tips on what could be the reason, and what to do about it. Blackjack tournaments are sparse these days but we've got a summary of the few that are scheduled in April (they are very good) courtesy of

The article by Brett Harris on unbalanced and balanced counting system is postponed until the May issue of BJI.

My article on the Insurance bet in blackjack appeared in the March issue of Casino Player magazine. If you haven't read it and want to do so, click here.

Our friends from Golden Touch have started Dominator's Sports Pick Service, a new elite sports betting and prediction site. Dominator, the Golden Touch craps expert featured on the Breaking Vegas television documentary, has been beating the Vegas sports books for over 20 years. Now, for the first time, Dom is sharing his predictions through this new fully automated online service. A 5-day trial subscription is only $9.95... click here for all the details.

I received the following poem from Rick Jensen (Tournament Blackjack Players Association) that I thought you would find entertaining:

The Blackjack Players Prayer

Now I seat me down to play,
I hope I'm up by the end of the day.

If I lose and end up broke,
I pray my wife doesn't choke my throat.

And if I should win, that would be great,
just as long as I don't get home too late.

And forgive the lucky players that pass me by,
just hope that their money is in huge supply.

God bless all my splits and double downs too,
cause the lord only knows how much I am due.

And if I should win and make lots of money,
my life could change overnight, now wouldn't that be funny.

Now forget your past losses and even your wins,
It's not about the money; it's about seeing old friends.

Nay, I want the money... lol.

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?

  • BJI Archives:
  • BJI Search:

    E-mail subscribers can also read each month's issue online at our web site: BJI Issue #111, April 2009.

    BJI Newsletter, April 2009, #111
    single web page for printing and offline viewing


    In just two days, learn how to get the edge at blackjack with Speed Count. Our next course is July 18 and 19 in Las Vegas. Plan now to attend this two-day hands-on course, meaning the majority of the time you will be practicing the optimum basic playing strategy and Speed Count on a professional blackjack table under the tutelage of blackjack expert Henry Tamburin. Classes fill up quickly; call 1-800-944-0406 to register ($100 discount for GTC newsletter readers... only $795). For more details about the course, Here is some of the feedback we received from the students that attended our last GTB course:

  • Excellent course.
  • Speed Count was easy to learn.
  • The practice play made learning the playing strategy and Speed Count easy to master.
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  • The lesson on bankroll and risk of ruin was a real eye opener.
  • I never played blackjack before, yet I was able to learn everything in just weekend.
  • This Speed Count is easy to use in the casino. I tried it on Saturday night and I had no problem keeping the count. Plus I won money!
  • Henry Tamburin is one hell of a terrific instructor.
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    BJI offers...

    Legends of Blackjack

    Legends of Blackjack: True Stories of Players Who Crushed the Casinos, is a great new e-book by BJI author Kevin Blackwood and Larry Barker. Read the true stories of the legendary players and teams who won millions of dollars in casinos throughout the world.
    $14.95 for the e-book, available immediately after purchasing.

    Our Blackjack Tournament Pro and BJI columnist Kenneth R. Smith has written his first book, How to Win More Blackjack Tournaments, which summarizes the blackjack tournament strategies contained in his articles from Blackjack Insider (plus three new articles not available anywhere else!). $14.95 for the e-book, available immediately after purchasing.

    How To Win More Blackjack Tournaments

    newsletter ad


    "The impetus for LOB was Ben Mezrich's runaway bestseller "Bringing Down the House." While I found that book well written and the exploits of the MIT team captivating, I was disappointed in how the author strained the boundaries of the non-fiction genre. Consequently, I decided to put together a book that did not embellish the accounts of the greatest blackjack players, but instead presented them in a truthful and factual manner..."

    Read Blackwood's and Barker's complete article.

    HOUSE OF PAIN: M=MORE by Joe Pane

    "Anthony Marnell III, the man in charge of the M Resort Spa and Casino, the newest casino resort to open in the Las Vegas area, has hit a home run..."

    Read Pane's complete article.

    HOW IT BEGAN-Part 2 by Ralph "Silver Fox" Sticker

    "Ralph Stricker, also known in the blackjack community as the "Silver Fox," has been asked many times how he got started teaching and playing blackjack for a living. Ralph continues to retell his fascinating life story as a professional teacher and player..."

    Read Sticker's complete article.

     Blackjack Training software for handhelds and Windows

    TUNICA BLACKJACK REPORT by Jerry "Stickman"

    "With the economy in the dumps, people have less discretionary money for things like gambling. Casinos are feeling the impact. In order to attract gamblers, you would think that casinos would start offering better rules for their table games. Has that happened in Tunica..."

    Read Stickman's complete article.


    "Over the past 5 years, I have increasingly found that the Indian casinos offer the best quality blackjack games, and my experience has been that the Indian casinos handle card counters more ethically than the state run casinos..."

    Read JPB's complete article.

    ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Frank and Alene Scoblete

    "There are two ways to handle a bad economy. If we owned a restaurant, we would offer two-for-one nights; free two-drinks nights; bring your family and the kids eat for free lunches. Something like that. Or, if you are a ploppy, you could raise your prices through the roof to get more money from fewer people. Atlantic City seems to have embraced the ploppy modus stupid-rendi according to a massive number of letters we have received these past three months. Here's a sampling of some of them..."

    Read Scobletes' complete article.

    Smart Gaming web site


    "LVBear growls about: Herbst Gaming, casino security at Cannery and Stratosphere casinos, card counting application on iPhones, Luck's Sportbook, and even the NFL and surprisingly, LVBear offers a well-deserved praise for the new M Resort (read why)..."

    Read LVBear's complete article.


    "The explosion in popularity of no limit Texas Hold 'em tournaments in recent years has influenced some casinos to imitate the no-limit format in their blackjack tournaments. This article covers betting strategies for the latter..."

    Read Monkeysystem's complete article.


    "Many tables that you will encounter in casinos do not have a true bounce. If you land the dice in your normal area and you immediately notice that the dice hit the back wall too hard or too high or too lightly or not at all, you will need to change your delivery slightly..."

    Read Stickman's complete article.

    Poker Drill Master for Windows


    "All players at one time or another will experience a losing streak. When this happens we need to determine if the "losing" was brought about by bad play on our part or just a negative fluctuation in the luck of the draw. When you start losing, the first thing to do is to look at your game a little more thoroughly. Many players do not like to admit that they have been playing badly but in order to be a winning player you need to be honest with yourself so you can identify and correct any problems with your game..."

    Read Burton's complete article.


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

    Read the complete tournament schedule.

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