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BJI Newsletter, March, #122

Read this issue as a single web page


We welcome our newest BJI contributing writer Handyman, who reports on the current blackjack playing conditions at eight casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Joe Pane has the answers to the 2010 Blackjack Ball quiz, as well as who won the coveted Blackjack Ball Cup, and who was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Vinny DeCarlo continues his informative series on the History of Casino Surveillance, and Ralph Stricker describes what happened on another of his team's trip to Santo Doningo and Las Vegas. Our low-stakes card counter Riverboat Flyer took another trip to Tunica and reports on how he did. There were some changes made to the games being offered in Atlantic City (double-deck blackjack, 99.6% video poker machines, and 10x odds craps) and Frank Scoblete has the details. Steve Bourie, author of the 2010 American Casino Guide, summarizes all the blackjack matchplay coupons that you'll find in his book (and there are some very good ones). Kenneth Smith concludes his analysis of the "mythical 12%" for tournament players, and poker players will find some solid tips on how to select a poker game from poker pro Bill Burton. Lastly, we have the upcoming schedule of blackjack tournaments from

Reminder: If you've had some big casino wins in 2009, you are obliged to report them when you file your Federal and State Income tax. However, you can deduct your gambling losses if you have the proper documentation. To learn how to do this and how to avoid the dreaded IRS audit, I encourage you to read the book Tax Help for Gamblers by Jean Scott and Marrisa Chien. Get a head start by reading Scott's article on "Dodging the IRS" that appeared in issue #110 of BJI.

If you haven't purchased an annual membership to the BJI yet, we've added another incentive for you to do so: FREE copies of Barfarkel's great You've Got Heat e-books (volume I and 2). This is a limited-time offer so act now... over $100 in freebies with a new one year subscription to Blackjack Insider! Click here for the details.
Henry Tamburin

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

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    E-mail subscribers can also read each month's issue online at our web site: BJI Issue #122, March 2010.

    BJI Newsletter, March 2010, #122
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    "After you compare your answers to the answers to this year's Blackjack Ball test questions, don't worry if your score was down in the single digits because this year's test was, in my opinion, the toughest of any of the years that I have been attending..."

    Read Pane's complete article.


    "The first surveillance cameras were hand-held 'family' type projection cameras. The film was much like the typical 35mm camera film, and it had to be well cared for when stored as evidence. It was proof and classified as "evidence" but it required more maintenance and attention (had to be kept locked in a dry area, etc.) than that Paris Hilton girl..."

    Read DeCarlo's complete article.


    "The relevance of names and the legality of the use of names are of great concern to many advantage gamblers. Avoidance of the numerous information-sharing services targeting advantage gamblers presents the obvious reason for playing under an alias. The advantage gambler does not use an alias to defraud the casino, but rather, just to gain entre' to legal transactions offered to all comers by the casino. Be mindful that use of an alias to assist in an illegal activity or commit fraud is universally criminal..."

    Read Nersesian's complete article.

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    "We made our first play and I used Silver R. and Harold N. as BP's. To test the waters, on my signal I would have one of them leave the table. Eventually, I would call in the other BP as the deck/shoe became favorable. No one bothered us and we played without any worries. It was (as some pros would say) 'just like a candy store'..."

    Read Stricker's complete article.


    "Las Vegas nowadays can be described as "slower and less expensive." Values and lower table limits can now be found if one looks hard enough. The Las Vegas Strip casinos are not necessarily opening up their wallets, but there appears to be less gouging than before when it comes to playing conditions and travel expenses..."

    Read Handyman's complete article.

    Smart Gaming web site

    TUNICA TRIP REPORT by Riverboat Flyer

    "It was back to Tunica to escape the winter weather up north and to play some blackjack. Here is my story on how my trip went..."

    Read Flyer's complete article.

    ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Frank and Alene Scoblete

    "Read the latest playing conditions in Atlantic City including several new games that appeared at the AC Hilton Casino..."

    Read Scobletes' complete article.

    Poker Drill Master for Windows

    BLACKJACK COUPONS by Steve Bourie

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    "This month we're going to give Adam a better chance by looking at the same situation (discussed last month), but with Bob now acting first. This gives us a chance to contrast the differences in strategy that result from button position, and see the tangible benefit of button position. Will the result be much different from the 12% we set out to test? Let's see..."

    Read Smith's complete article.


    "Many players agree that game selection is one of the most important concepts in playing winning poker. It is also the one concept that is most often overlooked by the majority of poker players. There is an adage that says, "You don't have to be the best poker player in the world. You just have to be better than the other players at your table..."

    Read Burton's complete article.


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

    Read the tournament report.

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