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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, Feb. 2005, #61


If the questions from the Blackjack Ball stumped you last month, take heart because this month we've got the answers. Our casino insider, The Suit, has some practical advice for newbie players on how they should learn card counting and eye opening advice for experienced counters on how best to deviate from basic strategy and vary your bets to stay under the casino's radar. Scott Michael's warns about the new automated blackjack table, MindPlay, and offers us a glimpse of what blackjack (and video poker) is like in the small towns in Northeast Nevada (you'll enjoy reading and chuckling on what Scott finds). Learn about blackjack conditions in Tunica from Riverboat Flyer's recent trip there. Barfarkel (aka LV Pro) took another trip to Sin City during the slow December period. Find out what adventures he gets himself in and how he did on the tables. Frank Scoblete and Alene Paone provides an update on blackjack in Atlantic City and a first glimpse at the exciting Gamblers Jamboree they are organizing in Ontario, Canada. Kenneth Smith offers more advice for tournament players (this time on "splitting" your money) and Bill Burton gives tips to Texas Hold'em players on how to figure the all important pot odds. There is a new blackjack book on the market, The Blackjack Zone, by Eliot Jacobson, and we've got a review. To wrap up this issue, I've summarized the status of the World Series of Blackjack through week #4, and Kenneth Smith has an updated tournament schedule.

There is still some openings in our Golden Touch Blackjack Tunica course (weekend of February 26 and 27). Next course will be taught March 12 and 13 in Atlantic City. For details on the course, which features Speed Count, click here.

We liked Jacobsen's new book, The Blackjack Zone (read the review), and have added it to our online store. BJI subscribers (paid and free) get a 10% discount. Click here for details.

The Travel Channel show "Las Vegas: What Would You Do If…" airs again in February. This show features the results of the questionnaire on gambling ethics that Blackjack Insider Newsletter subscribers completed last year. The show airs Feb. 20 at 2am and Feb. 24 at 7pm and 2am (EST).

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

E-mail subscribers can also read each month's issue online at our web site: BJI Issue #61, Feb. 2005.

Henry Tamburin


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" Get the answers to the 31 question quiz given to the participants at this year's Blackjack Ball..."

Read Tamburin's complete article.

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"Floor supervisors are looking for specific plays because they do not always have time to count down the games. They know basic strategy and know to report when someone is deviating from basic strategy. They watch how many units you are going and report whatever their casinos criteria may be..."

Read The Suit's complete article.


"As if the blackjack conditions in Vegas weren't bad enough with the advent of 6 to 5 single deck blackjack games, continuous shuffling machines, and fake hand held games, MindPlay Blackjack is gaining momentum in town..."

Read Michael's complete article.

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"Having never ventured out into the great unknown of the sparsely populated towns of northern Nevada, I decided to take a road trip to the casinos in the northeast region of the state to see what sort of stories and creatures I could dig up. Our tale begins in Twin Falls, Idaho..."

Read Michael's complete article.

TUNICA TRIP REPORT by Riverboat Flyer

"It is time for my annual year end pilgrimage to Tunica, Mississippi. It you have not been to Tunica, it is a laid back gambling destination with 9 casinos and plenty of low limit 21 games. Throw in thousands of slot machines for my wife, easy comps and you have a vacation recipe that agrees with me..."

Read Flyer's complete article.

LAS VEGAS TRIP REPORT by Barfarkel (a.k.a. LV Pro)

"I had a rocky start, losing $40 at what I first thought was the last double-deck table at Casino Royale. After the first two hands, I glanced at the small table sign that said Hand-Held Multi-Deck. I don't know why I didn't see the sign before sitting down. I guess I was in a hurry to get a seat after two players departed this table, and thought I had found the only real blackjack game left in the joint. Now I know that there is no longer any blackjack table worth playing at Casino Royale..."

Read Barfarkel's complete article.

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ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete

"The big thing in Atlantic City is upgrading the hotels in terms of casino space, rooms, suites and putting in shopping malls. Tropicana has a new area, The Quarter, similar to the Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, which is drawing large crowds to the property. Trop has also increased room space to 2,126. The idea is to bring more upscale visitors to the Queen of Resorts. It might be an idea whose time has come..."

Read Scoblete's and Paone's complete article.


"I've talked about splitting your bankroll for the final hand several times in this column, and in particular I've pointed out reasons why it is sometimes not a good idea. In this month's column, I'll describe a new twist on that strategy. So, read on to see what I'm talking about when I say "Save some crumbs..."

Read Smith's complete article.


"Blackjack card counters increase their bets when the deck is rich with high cards because they know that the odds are in their favor when the deck is positive. They cut back their bets when the odds are not in their favor. Poker players get their money in the pot when the pot odds justify making the call and pass when the money in the pot is not enough to call. The relationship between the amount of money in the pot and the cost of calling a bet is known as Pot Odds..."

Read Burton's complete article.

Gambler's Jamboree


"Is there really anything new to be said about blackjack? The answer is yes. The game is constantly changing and the old worn blackjack manuals haven't kept up with the times. With shuffle machines, weird variations in the rules (like a payoff of 6-to-5 for a blackjack, what a rip-off!), and the new adult Vegas attitude, the games are getting harder to beat all the time. Add to this the onslaught of the "…stays in Vegas" marketing campaign and casinos are separating players from their money with more efficiency than McDonald's selling Big Macs. It's way past time for someone to come to the defense of the players. The first shot has been fired by Eliot Jacobson in his new book, "The Blackjack Zone..."

Read Isaac's complete article.


" Hopefully you've been watching the World Series of Blackjack 2005 on GSN, The Network for Games. Four rounds have been televised and each one has been exciting. Here is the status through week 4 and the remaining schedule..."

Read Tamburin's complete article.


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

Read the complete article.

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