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BJI Newsletter, November 2015, #190

Read this issue as a single web page


This is the first time I'm announcing my latest project, which I'm very excited about. I'm in the process of writing the Ultimate Guide to Blackjack (UGBJ) based on my nearly 50 years' experience as a player and student of the game. This illustrated guide contains 16 Chapters, covering everything from the history of the game to basic and advanced playing strategies and a whole lot more. The UGBJ is a work in progress; however, you can read Chapters 1, 2, and 3 as well as a summary of the other chapters by going to Please take a look see and let me know your thoughts about the Guide (

As most of you know, our main focus of the BJI is blackjack; however, periodically, we write about other games that can be legally beaten by skillful play (e.g., blackjack, craps, video poker, tournaments, sports betting, and more). This month's issue contains a detailed look at the advantage play technique known as Hole Carding (written by Eliot Jacobson, Ph.D.), and how the pros use this technique to gain the advantage at proprietary poker-based table games. Don't miss reading this article.

This month's issue also contains several blackjack (and trip) reports. They include our Las Vegas Report on the Freemont and Four Queens casinos in downtown Las Vegas (by Stu D. Hoss); Maine Trip Report (by Joe Freeda); Northeast Oklahoma Trip Report (by JPM); and our Atlantic City Report (by Frank Scoblete, who also makes a bold prediction on what will happen to the casinos in AC as winter approaches). We are happy that Dustin Marks, who wrote the series on "Cheating on Blackjack" in the BJI, has agreed to write several detailed stories about his trips to different casinos (this month, Reno), and how the cheating went down. Paul Wilson's article gives practical advice on how to use the concept of "building blocks" to become a better blackjack player. John Grochowski attended this year's massive Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas and he summarizes some of the new blackjack games and side bets that were being promoting by different vendors. Jerry "Stickman's" video poker column, meanwhile, focuses on the question if it's worth the effort to learn a detailed (and sometimes complex) optimum basic playing strategy for different games or just a more simplified playing strategy. (You might be surprised at the answer plus Jerry provides the complete playing strategy for several popular video poker games.) Lastly, we have a summary of upcoming major blackjack tournaments courtesy of

Have a Happy Thanksgiving,

Henry Tamburin


santa We have a great collection of discounted products for casino players that make great gifts. We have strategy cards for blackjack and video poker, DVDs covering advantage strategies for craps and blackjack, software to help master basic strategy and card counting, books on all casino games (including slots), and much more. Shop our secure online store, and let us help you eliminate the drudgery of figuring out what to buy a friend or family member this holiday season. Order now!

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Video Poker for Winners
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Jerry King Cartoon
Copyright ©2015, Jerry King, All rights reserved.

In the Article Spotlight

In this article by Dan Pronovost ( BJI #34), you'll learn what can happen to a card counter if he doesn't have enough bankroll.

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    "This month I continued my review of downtown casinos by visiting two of them located on the corner of Casino Center Boulevard and Fremont Street..."

    Read Hoss' complete article.


    "In August 2013, there were two blackjack games with the slimmest house advantage in the country: one was about 0.02%, and the other actually gave a player advantage of about 0.30%! Do you know where these games were located? Not in Las Vegas or Biloxi. Surprise, they were in a seldom traveled area in northeast Oklahoma close to Miami (pronounced Miam-uh)..."

    Read JPB's complete article.

    MAINE TRIP REPORT by "Reload" Joe Freda

    "After my controversial trip to Twin River Casino during the summer's end (Oct. BJI), I decided to shift gears with a road trip to Maine as October's foliage came into play. A far drive north to Bangor took me to Hollywood Casino for the first time, and on the drive back home I also stopped at the Oxford Casino to partake in an elite lobster buffet event..."

    Read Freda's complete article.

    ATLANTIC CITY REPORT by Frank Scoblete

    "Frank Scoblete summarizes the latest playing conditions in A.C. and predicts what could be in store for the casinos as winter approaches..."

    Read Scoblete's complete article.


    "This was my first trip to Reno. I didn't realize how long and boring the drive was from Vegas. Luckily, I had a nice convertible (I had bought it. Well, more correctly, the casinos bought it!), and Kaiser loved driving. With the wind in our hair, we headed north to rip and tear in Reno..."

    Read Marks' complete article.


    "If you've never seen an empty exhibit hall turned into a massive trade show, it's quite the process and takes several days. It's like building a small city. Sharing my friend's experience and even meeting a few of the exhibitors before the show got me thinking about logistics and process management. How can we apply these concepts to blackjack? What steps can we take to build a better blackjack player..."

    Read Wilson's complete article.

    HOLE CARD 101-Part 1 by Eliot Jacobson, Ph.D.

    "In this article, I've focused on hole-carding proprietary games. The proprietary games that are vulnerable require that a strategic decision take place after the initial wager is made and the hidden cards have been dealt. Such a decision..."

    Read Jacobson's complete article.


    "Using a simpler strategy streamlines the learning process while only minimally reducing the return - in many cases only a tenth of a percent or so. The strategy charts can be dramatically different, however..."

    Read "Stickman's" complete article.

    NEWS FROM G2E by John Grochowski

    "In the ebb and flow of the introduction of new blackjack games and side bets, this was one of the busier years at the annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E) at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. Here's what I found..."

    Read Grochowski's complete article.


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

    Read our tournament schedule.

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