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BJI Newsletter, Apr. 2007, #87

A WORD FROM HENRY is sponsoring its first blackjack tournament in May at the Tournament Blackjack Tour. See below for details. This month's newsletter begins with my pet peeve; a discussion by The GameMaster on how fledgling and experienced card counters often shoot themselves in the foot because of their paranoia over getting barred by the casino. Sammy Vaughn offers a little nostalgia as he takes us back to what it was like in Vegas a quarter century ago, including disclosing the secret as to why he is known as Phx. Sam. If you've been itching to learn how to play competitively in blackjack tournaments but don't know where to start, then check out the article by Walker for helpful tips. Joe Pane warns us about a chip that casinos might refuse to cash and what you can do to about it. I summarize the top 8 mistakes made by average blackjack players so you can avoid making them. LVBear's latest growls expose more wrong doings in the casino industry. The conclusion of Barfarkel's trip report is not pretty and points out the ups and downs all card counters face in the short term. Frank Scoblette and Alene Paone summarize the current blackjack conditions in each Atlantic City casino, the latest rumors that the Trump casinos will be sold, and some food for thought on System Sellers. If you play tournaments, you don't want to miss Ken Smith's advice on how to play your hands when the dealer shows a 10 (you may be surprised at his recommendations). Don't we love to get a single Ace, or better yet Pocket Aces, when we play Texas Hold'Em? But do we really know how to play them? Poker expert Bill Burton gives us the final word on how to play Aces. Lastly, we have a summary of upcoming blackjack tournaments around the country courtesy of Blackjack Tournament

We will be sponsoring a traditional elimination format blackjack tournament on Sunday, May 13, 2007 at the River Palms Casino, Laughlin, NV. This tournament is sanctioned by the Tournament Blackjack Players Association (TBJPA). The entry fee is $150 + $15 casino fee. Prize money will be given to all players who advance to the semi-final and final table. In addition, will be offering additional prizes to the 6 finalists. This player-friendly tournament was designed for the nickel and quarter player, and guarantees that a minimum of two players will advance from each table. For details on the TBJPA, including the tournament playing rules, visit their web site For a list of prizes for the Tournament, click here. The TBPA has negotiated a special room rate of $20 per night. Call the hotel's Host Department at 1-800-835-7904 and use code TBJPA-07. In addition to the Tournament, there will be a tournament hosted by on Friday, May 11th, and the first Tournament Blackjack Tour (TBT) tournament will be held on Saturday, May 12th. There will also be satellite tournaments on Thursday evening, and on Friday and Saturday. I plan to play in the tournaments, and look forward to meeting BJI Members/Subscribers for some fun, camaraderie, and, of course, friendly competition. Got any questions about the tournaments? Call Rick Jensen at 1-972-253-5848 or email Rick at

Las Vegas Golden Touch Blackjack Course

Featuring Speed Count...

I'll be teaching the next GTB course in Las Vegas on June 23 and 24. You will learn the OBS and Speed Count in just two days in this hands-on course. For details, visit, or call 1-800-944-0406 (ask for your $100 discount courtesy of BJI!). Plan now to visit the gaming capital of the world while you learn how to become an advantage player.

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 #87, Apr. 2007.

Henry Tamburin


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DON'T BAR YOURSELF by The GameMaster

"New card counters seem to think that they have a big, red "C" tattooed on their forehead, so they spend a lot of time trying to camouflage their skill, which is almost always a very big mistake. When you're new to the sport, or are losing on a regular basis, gaining casino experience by playing and betting in the way called for by your game plan is absolutely essential. If your bankroll and counting system calls for you to use a 1-16 bet spread, then you need to put the $$$ out there when the time is right..."

Read The GameMaster's complete article.


"I wish that you could all go back in time with me. In fact you can, 'cause I'm about to take you back to Las Vegas the way it was over a quarter century ago. So pull up a chair and let's get started..."

Read Vaughn's complete article.


"In my eight years of tournament play, I've shown a profit in seven of them. If I can do it, trust me, anyone can. And you can do it, in most cases, without risking a small fortune. Let me present you with a list of suggestions to help you become a competitive player..."

Read Walker's complete article.

 Blackjack Training software for handhelds and Windows


"You would expect that when you are in Las Vegas and you put your cash on a gambling table in exchange for casino chips that those chips would have the same value as the cash that you just gave to the dealer. After all, this common casino transaction is not like the volatile stock market where your stocks, bonds and mutual funds will fluctuate up and down in value according to market trends. Or is it?.."

Read Pane's complete article.


"A reporter once asked me: "What are the biggest mistakes made by blackjack players?" What follows is what I told him. Now, as readers of this newsletter, you are a cut above the average player and I would hope that you aren't making any of these blunders. But it doesn't hurt to take a look to be sure these mistakes don't creep in to your play..."

Read Tamburin's complete article.

Smart Gaming web site


"Long-time Las Vegas-based advantage player and casino critic, LVBear, offers his opinions on things that sometimes go wrong in the world of casinos..."

Read The Bear's complete article.

LAS VEGAS TRIP REPORT - Part 2 by Barfarkel

"The morning started nicely. On the way to the 15 freeway ramp on Tropicana Blvd., I turned into New York New York on a whim. I only played a half-hour, winning $550. Okay, my first win of the trip was satisfying and I was now down less than a grand. So I was guardedly hopeful..."

Read Barfarkel's complete article.

Poker Drill Master for Windows

ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete

"It looks like Donald Trump might be looking to unload his Atlantic City casino empire (Trump Plaza, Trump Marina and Trump Taj Mahal) - at a massive profit of course - and this has us worried. What if the Harrah's empire is allowed to buy the three Trump properties? Ugh!..."

Read Scoblete and Paone's complete article.

THE POWER OF THE DEALER 10 by Kenneth Smith

"In previous columns, I've talked a lot about how basic strategy is not often the best way to play your hand in tournament blackjack. Instead, your strategy should depend on the particular circumstance at the time. On many occasions when you should deviate from basic strategy, it involves the dealer ten, whether it is the visible upcard, or a more subtle influence on game probabilities. This month we'll examine some of the facts about the powerful dealer ten, and see how you should revise your play as a result..."

Read Smith's complete article.


"A pair of Aces is the most powerful starting hand in Texas Hold'em. The nickname for this hand is Pocket Rockets or American Airlines. No matter which name you prefer, it is the most desired starting hand in the game. But don't plan on seeing it too frequently. ..."

Read our Burton's complete article.


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

Read our tournament schedule.

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