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BJI Newsletter, October, #129

Read this issue as a single web page


There are a few spots left in the hands-on Golden Touch Blackjack course, which I'll be teaching the weekend of Oct. 23 & 24 in Las Vegas. See below for details.

Many blackjack players play video poker (including me) because you can make money playing video poker like you can playing blackjack. One area of video poker that has been very lucrative for a relatively small group of smart players is progressive video poker games. The reason is that not much has been written about the techniques used by the pros to win money playing the progressive machines. That's about to change. This month we welcome Frank Kneeland, author of the new book The Secret World of Video Poker Progressives, who will be writing an exclusive series of articles in the BJI on how to beat the video progressive games. In his first article, Kneeland introduces himself and summarizes what he'll be covering in these articles. In addition, Vinny DeCarlo looks at what it would be like if you owned a casino and had to deal with advantage players. Basil Nestor makes an interesting point about how being a "gracious gambler" can help you get the edge when you play blackjack. John Grochowski answers several questions from blackjack players including the counter's camouflage play of standing on 16 against a 10, and the hunch bettor wrecking the game for others. JPB visited three casinos in Albuquerque, NM and reports on the blackjacks conditions (with one casino getting an A rating). Frank Scoblete writes about the rapid decline of business in Atlantic City and rates the blackjack playing conditions in the casinos there. Alan Krigman analyses the Lucky Ladies side bet often found on blackjack tables (you may be surprised at his results). On the tournament front, we have two excellent articles. The first is by Ken Smith, who describes his experience in a recent tournament in the Midwest. The second article by Monkeysytem discusses a player's decision-making process in tournament play. Bill Burton explains what "outs" means in poker with some excellent examples. Last, but not least, we have a run down of the upcoming major blackjack tournaments in October and November in the U.S.A.

Henry Tamburin

October 23 & 24 Golden Touch Blackjack Course

In this two-day class, you will learn how to become an advantage player by using Speed Count and the Optimum Basic Strategy. This is a hands-on course. You will be learning and practice playing under the watchful eye of instructor Henry Tamburin. You'll learn everything you need to know to be a successful blackjack player in just one weekend. BJI subscribers get a $100 discount on the tuition. For details about the class, visit, or call 1-262-598-9354 to sign-up. Note: There are only a few spots open and this is the last blackjack class that Henry be teaching in 2010.

How does a paid BJI Membership work?

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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 #129, October 2010.

    BJI Newsletter, October 2010, #129
    single web page for printing and offline viewing

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    WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES by Vinny DeCarlo by Vinny DeCarlo

    "It's easy to criticize casinos for not allowing you to take full and complete advantage of any given situation but have you ever thought of what it would be like if you were the casino owner? Let's look at this from a neutral prospective..."

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    THE GRACIOUS GAMBLER by Basil Nestor

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    BLACKJACK ANSWER MAN by John Grochowski

    "I play basic strategy, but I have a buddy who counts, and he always stands on 16 against a 10. He said it's to disguise his play. I thought it would be better to pick another hand like 16 against 7, but he said 16 against 10 was really a closer call. Can you tell me why? I'd think 16 vs. 7 would be closer, because the dealer busts more often..."

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    "In early September, I had the opportunity to travel to Albuquerque on business and check out the casinos in my spare time. Since my free time was limited, I wanted to make sure I hit the best places for blackjack..."

    Read JPB's complete article.

    ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Frank and Alene Scoblete

    "Even if you are not a frequent Atlantic City player, step one foot in the city and you know something is wrong. The casinos have little action. Tables are closed, and the few that are open, seem lackluster. The weekends appear just fine but even such appearances can be deceiving in terms of money made. It's a dry, dry time for profits, and the prophets say those past profits are gone forever..."

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    "Some table games offer side (aka bonus) bets, ancillary to the primary action. These bets typically dangle the bait of rich rewards for moderate amounts of risk - often as little as $1 when the nominal table minimum may be $5, $10, $25, or more. Gambling gurus tend to pooh-pooh such propositions because they generally have usurious house advantages. Not only are the percentages raked by the casinos high when the side action is appraised on its own, they elevate what may otherwise be a modest edge on the main bet when the combined wagers are evaluated..."

    Read Krigman's complete article.


    "The time seemed right for me to get involved in tournament travel again, and I picked the recent Horseshoe Southern Indiana tournament for my first commitment..."

    Read Smith's complete article.


    "As I stood there and watched some players I respect slug it out in the semifinal round at St. Ignace, Michigan this weekend, I pondered the way decisions are made, and players' reactions to them. Do we make our decisions sometimes influenced by what people will think? How do we manage risk? What is the best way to make a decision?..."

    Read Monkeysystem's complete article.

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    PROGRESSIVE VIDEO POKER - Part 1 by Frank Kneeland

    "Welcome to the first installment in a series of articles I plan to write for the Blackjack Insider newsletter about playing progressive video poker. My goal in these articles is to give you some quick-and-dirty techniques that you can use to make money playing progressive video poker..."

    Read Kneeland's complete article.

    TEXAS HOLD'EM A TO Z: "O" IS FOR OUTS by Bill Burton

    "In poker, your outs are the unseen cards that will complete or improve your hand to make it the winning hand. Each additional card or "Out" will improve your percentage of surviving the hand and coming out a winner. You can view outs as an indicator of success or failure when determining whether to continue with a hand..."

    Read Burton's complete article.


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

    Read the tournament report.

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