By Mike AponteTopTipsForBlackjackGamblers
In blackjack, a lot of players make some pretty significant mistakes. What might seem like a “common sense” play is actually a pretty serious misplay if you consider the odds.
Here are four commonly misplayed blackjack hands that you should avoid.
While you might feel tempted to take an insurance offer when the dealer reveals an ace, you should resist the temptation. The logic behind this play is that there are four cards (10, J, Q, K) that will give the dealer blackjack. If the face-down card is one of these, you will be able to regain your original bet.
So why exactly is this a bad play? Well, the odds are actually in the dealer’s favor by a significant margin. If you choose this option, there is a much bigger chance that the dealer actually doesn’t have blackjack.
In this situation, you are much better off turning down the even money insurance bet. Instead, you should try for the 1.5x win.
If your dealer is showing they have a 10, there is a good chance they will also have another one in the face-down position. If you have an 11, the chances of getting a 20 or a 21 are significantly higher than the chance the dealer has a second face-down 10.
While you might think that doubling down when the dealer has 10 is a counter-intuitive strategy, according to comparison site CasinoGuide, you are actually playing to the odds. Let’s say you bet £10 and hit your 11. In this situation, you will win 56% of your hands according to the statistics. If you doubled your bet amount for £20, you will win this bet 54% of the time (remember that doubling means you only receive one more card, and then automatically stand).
Since there’s a small difference in these bets, it wouldn’t hurt to double your bet, as you’d get a significantly higher return for just 2% less of a chance of winning.
In this situation, drawing a small number such as a 2 or a 3 can significantly increase your chances of winning. You should always hit on a 16 when you are playing against a dealer with 7. You might get lucky and hit a low enough card to get you the win. This will improve your odds to the point that it should mitigate your losses over time.
The following is a good rule of thumb to follow: An 18 against a dealer’s 10 is somewhat better than a 16, whereas an 18 vs a dealer’s 7 is significantly stronger.
While you might feel like an 18 is a hand you can’t improve on, this is not always the case. While an 18 may bring you a win more often than not, the odds are not necessarily in your favor.
For example, against a dealer’s 10, the odds are not on your side. If you were to stand on a soft 18 in this situation, over time, you would lose more hands than you would ever win.
This is also true if you were to hit, but you wouldn’t lose quite as much. This means you should be brave and give yourself the best chance of winning: always hit on that soft 18.
Being good at blackjack can take time. You need to have an acute understanding of the rules and you need to be able to estimate the odds on the fly. Or just use a blackjack strategy card.
A great way to practice and refine your strategy is to play online blackjack games at live dealer casinos that allow you to experience the fun atmosphere and face-to-face interaction of the game, within you own home. Away from the pressure of being in a real casino surrounded by experienced gamblers and impatient dealers, you can take the time to get comfortable with your own blackjack strategy.
It should be known by now that the Chelsea FC’s best captain, John Terry has agreed on a deal to be BK8.com’s brand ambassador. Besides that, John Terry has become BK8.com’s first ever brand ambassador. The deal and appointment were announced on February 2019 in Manila, Philippines.
John Terry appointment news has leaked out as soon as Entourage Sport & Entertainment, John Terry’s commercial agent has agreed to collaborate with Samson Sport Consultancy.
In an interview upon his appointment as BK8.com’s brand ambassador, he said “I’m excited to begin this partnership with BK8.com! They share my great passion for football and I’m looking forward to playing a role in their many future plans to promote the brand to new and existing players throughout Asia.”
In the agreement, BK8.com will own the authority and rights to use John Terry’s image in all kinds of marketing campaigns and advertising platforms regarding BK8’s businesses all across Asia.
Throughout the past 3 months, John Terry has been a part of several BK8’s marketing campaign. For example, Chinese New Year Ang Pao campaign and BK8 Thailand Songkran campaign. It was proven that John Terry’s appointment has significantly helped BK8.com to grow its brand visibility. In the recent Songkran campaign that was targeted to regions in Thailand, BK8 Thailand has gained a great number of traffic to their site. We believe with the addition of John Terry, BK8 will have even more room to grow and develop as the best online casino in Asia.
John Terry is by far the best and most successful captain for Chelsea FC in the club’s history. He is leading every player in his position who have played for Chelsea FC in terms of titles achievement and also football stats. John Terry has led the Blues to accomplish amazing achievement by winning a UEFA Champions League title, 3 League Cups, 1 UEFA Europa League title and also 5 Barclays Premier League titles.
BK8.com is one of Asia’s biggest and most trusted online casino brand that have attracted millions of players to join and play. BK8.com also provides a number of Asia’s top Casino, Lotteries, Game brands and Sportsbook for its customers to choose and play in. Besides that, BK8’s customer service and support team will be available and online for 24 hours daily, to provide help and assistance.
We have designed this ultimate guide for all blackjack lovers looking for trusted online websites to play this game for real money. It’s a difficult task to find the best one, so read through the following information to learn the basics of blackjack, and get valuable tips on choosing the casino of your dreams. We will also provide you with some of the most reliable casinos that we found on AllHighRollerCasinos.Com. So, sit back, relax, and let’s go!
The industry of online gambling is wide-reaching as it slowly yet effectively attracts more players from land based casinos. There are thousands of websites which offer various games from all-liked shiny slots to skill-demanding poker to luck-driven lotteries. Online casinos attract millions of users all over the world because of great convenience and comfort. Online players can enjoy favorite games without spending their bucks on trips to Las Vegas or Macau.
To understand the industry scale, let’s check the comprehensive study by Financial Times, which reveals intriguing data. According to it, there were 51% of the UK gamblers, who accessed casinos via mobile phones and tablets in 2018. At the same time, the UK Gambling Commission revealed that it had issued 888 licenses for online operators. And it’s only one country out of 193 UN members!
Things will look even brighter for web-based casinos, Juniper Research claims. In its recent report, the team predicts that there will be 61 million online gamblers who will bring casinos more than $1 trillion revenue in 2022. Without doubt, a solid portion of this money will come from blackjack tables.
Let’s start with the very basics. This section will be especially useful for newcomers who don’t know how to play blackjack or want to discover something new. Further, we want to guide you through the major rules of traditional blackjack versions and reveal some extra game variations available at online casino websites. It’s obvious that basic rules are similar for both brick and mortar and web-based gambling facilities but additional options may vary, so pay attention to games you choose. Without further ado, welcome the blackjack 101 course!
Blackjack is a card game where gamblers confront a dealer. Basically, all players and a dealer blackjack get cards from the common deck (there can be from 1 to 8 combined decks), calculate their scores, and compare them. The main objective here is to get the total value of as close to 21 as possible. Hands with 21 always win, though you always lose if you exceed this amount. The game combines 50% of luck with 50% of strategy and math.
Ultimately, the classic version features three stages. During the first one, participants wager money, then they receive two cards each, and define scores. Gamblers can see only their hand cards and one dealer’s card while others are hidden. Finally, each player can make a move: to hit (take a card), to stand (do nothing), to double (double the bet and take one extra card), to split (separate cards to create two hands) or to surrender (return half of the bet and end the game). Knowing these rules is enough to start gambling, but we will cover more hints and strategies later.
Remember also the rules related to cards’ values:
● Aces can cost either 1 or 11 points depending on other cards
● All face cards cost 10 points
● Number cards cost as much as indicated on them
If you want to know more about specifics of blackjack casino games, check the related articles in Wikipedia or Dalton’s Encyclopedia of Blackjack. This huge encyclopedia covers everything from the origins of the described game to the least known exotic variations.
Gambling websites list different variations of blackjack to meet the demands of different users. Some of them stem from the early brick and mortar casino offerings, while others are modern inventions. Usually, you will find from 2 to 10 versions on a single website. Below are the most popular ones (we mention only variations from the classic version). Note that the mentioned types are also available as live dealer games.
Aces count as 1 only, and the winning hand is slightly different as you have to build a three-card combo with an ace and two 10-valued cards.
In this variant, both of the dealer’s cards are exposed to gamblers. Some exotic versions require that all participants show their cards, as well.
This game is played without 10-valued cards. Instead, you can make use of several bonus hands which vary across casinos.
In addition to removing 10s, this variant has extra rules:
● Gamblers can surrender anytime
● Gamblers can surrender after double down
● Gamblers can increase bets at any hands
● Gambler’s 21 beats the dealer’s 21
Here, the player’s 21-valued hand also beats the dealer’s one. Plus, participants can split hands 4 times – the hand with 6 cards and the total value of 20 win automatically.
As the name suggests, this variation lets you have five hands simultaneously, instead of only one. Be aware that it’s a pretty challenging game though!
All bets placed during splitting or doubling down are protected. It means, you don’t have to wager additional money for these actions, but in the case of a win, you will get a double prize. However, the dealer’s 22-valued hand pushes all other hands except 21s here.
This one introduces extra side bets. You can wager on getting a mixed pair (just numbers), a colored pair (numbers and colors) or a perfect pair (numbers and suits).
Obviously, the game features only one deck of 52 cards. It’s easier to count them and the game itself is more profitable as it has the lowest edge among all versions.
In Blackjack Switch, players get two hands and can exchange two upper cards within them freely. Similarly to Free Bet, the dealer’s 22 push other combos except for blackjacks.
Extending our introductory section, we would like to give some general hints to newbie online gamblers. If you are a seasoned punter, feel free to skip this part and proceed to advanced strategies.
The very first hint is simple: don’t play for money if it’s your first blackjack run. There are hundreds of casinos which offer demo plays with virtual tokens, so try them to get the idea. Learn about the rules, terms, strategies, and features.
House edge is probably the most essential concept to be aware of. It defines how much money the casino gets from each bet on average. For instance, the game with a 5% edge means that the website wins $5 from each $100 bet. Despite the number is rounded and each particular bet can bring different return to a casino, we recommend choosing projects with the lowest edge to guarantee the maximum potential profit for you.
Check some of the blackjack features and how they affect payouts:
● Extra splits. If you can split the already divided hands, you will decrease the house winnings.
● A number of decks. The fewer of them are used, the lower the casino return will be.
● Payouts. The 3:2 scheme is a safer choice, because 6:5 or even 1:1 options increase the edge.
● Split aces. This one also boosts your revenue and reduces the casino’s one.
● Surrender. This feature increases your payout significantly.
At the end of the day, choose games with a few decks, options for splitting aces and surrender. Combined, these features can increase your odds by a few percent. Respectively, avoid unfavorable payouts, side bets, and exotic rules, especially if you haven’t mastered the game yet.
Now, it’s time to look at more advanced blackjack strategy types. Undoubtedly, they will be useful for newcomers and experienced players alike, so we suggest that you check them carefully.
As was mentioned above, blackjack results depend on both luck and skill. You can’t control luck, but you can still improve skills. By mastering blackjack in land-based or Internet casinos, newbie gamblers evolve into real professionals. Still, mindless plays are destructive.
If you want to figure out when it’s better to hit and when – to surrender, explore the next sections.
Put simply, there are two categories of card combinations:
● Hard hand. Generally, any pair of cards without an ace. Hard hands with aces occur only when these cards are counted as 1.
● Soft hand. A combo of an ace and any other card. In this case, an ace can be counted as 1 or 11, so soft hands are more flexible than hard ones.
You can choose various strategic moves, which we will reveal a bit later. For instance, soft 19s and 20s require standing almost all the time. It’s better to receive a soft hand because you have more options with it but hard alternatives can also be beneficial as they have related moves, too.
Experienced blackjack players know that there are cool things called cheat sheets. They highlight how you should move under a specific scenario. You can find multiple guides for different game versions but the structure is always the same. While cheat sheets are intuitive, we have prepared some instructions on how to read them.
In any cheat sheet, you will see the “Dealer” title with numbers under it. This row represents the dealer’s visible card, where 10 also stands for face cards. You will also see “Your Hand” with all possible combinations. Pairs mean two-card combos, while single numbers show sums. At the intersection of the dealer’s cards and your scores, there are suggested moves which include standard hit, stand, double, split, and surrender, as well as extra points like surrender or hit, split after a split or hit, and so on. In general, you should just compare hands and do what the table says.
If used appropriately, cheat sheets can boost your game results significantly. For classic versions, they can reduce the house profit by 4-5%. That’s a lot.
Here, we don’t want to dive in too complicated mind games, so we will list four popular strategies. They work fine for real money games.
1. Wait for the dealer’s hit if he/she has 4, 5 or 6. The mentioned cards are pretty risky because they leave enough space for an extra hit. Most of the dealers with soft hands will attack trying to get close to 21. Note that you can double at this moment and earn more in the case of the dealer’s bust.
2. Split aces and 8s, but don’t split 10s. There are no exceptions. Always split aces and 8s because they are great basic cards for winning combos. Instead, never split 10s because they work better together. And of course, follow your gut feeling and look at the dealer’s cards.
3. Stand in the case of your own hard 17. With it, winning chances are relatively low as you are far enough from 21. Nevertheless, it’s not worth risking and grabbing extra card because math layouts aren’t in your favor.
4. Never insure. Some blackjack versions support the insurance feature. It allows participants to protect their bet if the dealer has an ace. If the house wins with 21, all insured bets will be returned. However, stats reveal that such outcomes are rare and you will only lose the price of insurance.
Plus, more strategic moves like Hi-Lo or Hi-Opt can be found in pro cheat sheets available on gambling websites.
Another advanced hint is related to bets. First and foremost, play when you are sober, calm, and positive-focused. As you play for money, you should realize the risks and know what to do exactly. Such an approach can protect from dangerous addictions or significant losses during the gambling rush.
Also, try to develop a solid plan and stick to it. For example, set a money-loss limit to stop gambling after reaching it or take breaks regularly. You can also choose more complex strategies: betting schemes called Martingale, Fibonacci or Paroli but be warned that these strategies will not give you an advantage and can be dangerous to your bankroll if used to the extreme. Their efficiency isn’t proven but they may help if you need some guides.
Blackjack is a simple game and it can be mastered quickly with enough practice and proper strategic plans. The critical question related to online gambling for money is built around platforms to use. The market is now jam-packed with web-based and mobile casinos, so it’s difficult to find the most suitable one or, at least, a reliable one. Remember about these three primary indicators and you will be able to spot the best online casinos.
Read, reread, write down, bookmark, send to friends, print, and add to reminders the following info: you should gamble via licensed casinos only! It’s really important as gambling facilities without licenses or certificates can host rigged games and steal your money or credentials. Always check the footer of the main page or “About” section to find current licenses which are marks of trustworthiness.
Usually, famous casinos have certificates from:
● The United Kingdom
● The Isle of Man
● Costa Rica
New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and South Africa also have local commissions so you should check their rules.
In addition, there’s a global organization called eCOGRA. It issues certificates, which prove that the games and RNGs are unrigged. The combination of a national license and an eCOGRA paper is a solid proof of reliability.
The second thing you should consider relates to games. The chosen casino has to list at least one variation of blackjack with certain platform compatibility. Usually, there are three options:
1. Desktop. Install the casino’s client with a set of games to enjoy them from PC.
2. Instant play. Access games directly using Flash, Java or HTML5.
3. Mobile. Get games downloaded on your phone/tablet.
Make sure to choose the best gameplay mode. Also, pay attention to the types of games as not all casinos list the same versions, so you can be disappointed with the lack of your favourite Switch or 21 Spanish. Finally, check the quality of software to know that blackjack rooms are stable and you will not face a painful disconnect at the pure 21.
Last but not least, if you want to play real money games, you need to know how deposits and withdrawals work. These options vary across countries and casinos, so check the allowed money systems on official gambling websites. The most popular ones are:
● Bank cards
● Global transfers via the likes of American Express
For different banking methods, casinos set different deposit/withdrawal limits – per transaction, per day, per month, etc. Be ready to pay fees, which also vary with the chosen method. Usually, the fastest options feature the highest fees and vice versa.
Bonuses are a convenient tool, which casinos utilize to attract players. For example, you can multiply money with the deposit bonus, and get some free cash or free entries to tournaments. At first, it seems that bonuses are great for newcomers, who don’t have enough money to play big. Let’s say, you can deposit $50 and get a 100% bonus with an extra $50 for free. Some sites even reward new users with totally free money.
Still, all bonuses have a catch called ‘rollover’. After agreeing to the offer, you will have to bet significantly more money to be able to complete a withdrawal. Thus, the mentioned free $50 with a 40x rollover would require that you wager $2,000 before cashing out. Moreover, blackjack has a low edge, so casinos impose even stricter requirements.
Finally, we are ready to introduce the best places to gamble online in 2019 where you can enjoy real money blackjack. The section is divided into two parts dedicated to desktop casinos and mobile applications. You might have already heard about one of the most popular blackjack casinos – Bovada Casino. If you are a newbie, it is worth checking it first. Here, we will list other big brands and give some characteristics.
Without further ado, enjoy the list of trusted casinos for desktops! They provide both classic and live blackjack games.
A number of blackjack games: 68.
Maximum starting bonus: $1,300.
A number of blackjack games: 31.
Maximum starting bonus: $1,600.
A number of blackjack games: 56.
Maximum starting bonus: $1,130 + 200 free spins.
A number of blackjack games: 13.
Maximum starting bonus: $115 + 200 free spins.
A number of blackjack games: 49.
Maximum starting bonus: $10 without a deposit.
Additionally, you may be interested in mobile blackjack apps, so check them now! Some of these projects offer sports betting, too.
A number of blackjack games: 5.
Maximum starting bonus: $100 without a deposit.
A number of blackjack games: 15.
Maximum starting bonus: $400 + 200 free spins.
A number of blackjack games: 26.
Maximum starting bonus: $800.
A number of blackjack games: 5.
Maximum starting bonus: $115 + 10 free spins.
A number of blackjack games: 14.
Maximum starting bonus: $400.
After you have chosen the best casino for online blackjack, you can actually start playing. Good research will point you towards reputable online gambling platforms with quality games, so make sure that you have spent enough time on it. Here’s a quick reminder on the key steps for running your first game.
Find a tab called “Register” or “Create Profile” to become a new user. Enter contact information in the required fields, set banking methods, and check available bonuses. During this step, check the data several times because typos may lead to issues with withdrawals later. If possible, turn on 2FA to increase safety and be sure that your account is protected.
Unless the casino has provided free money as a bonus, you will have to deposit some money to start playing. Go to your profile and find a section dedicated to transfers or deposits. Here, you can link bank cards/accounts or wallets, set permissions, and perform first transactions. Extra confirmations for money deals are desired, too.
To start playing blackjack, simply find this game on the website. Check which types are available and which ones are your favorites. Normally, blackjack rooms are located in “Card Games” or “Table Games” category where you will find various versions from Classic Blackjack to multiple 21 variations.
Ideally, you will end up with some winnings. While it’s possible to leave the money in your casino account and continue playing blackjack, a lot of gamblers prefer to cash out a certain portion. For this, return to your profile and open the tab with money transfers. If previously connected banking methods support withdrawals, just make a transaction. Otherwise, you will need to add another option for cash-outs exclusively.
Check some useful hints to succeed in blackjack games:
● Look at the dealer’s card to understand how to act.
● Avoid first seats as there you will have the least time for thinking.
● Start with small bets to check how the game is going today.
● Don’t analyze other players’ actions as you don’t compete with them.
● Set time and money limits to avoid huge losses.
● Never gamble when overwhelmed with emotions or drunk.
For the final section, we have prepared some info related to responsible gambling and, particularly, responsible blackjack plays. Most likely, you already know that the gambling industry is full of scammers, fraudulent websites, and rigged games which allow underage gamblers and insolvent users. These casinos have spoiled the reputation of the whole industry, so we beg to avoid them.
Play via trusted websites or use reliable applications. Remember about social responsibility. Just think how difficult it is to earn real money online and how easily illegal gambling platforms can steal it! It doesn’t take a lot of time to check licenses and read users’ reviews, but it can protect you and your close ones from potential huge losses and even addiction. Consider gambling as a hobby to enjoy it without harm.
Phew! It’s a pretty comprehensive guide, isn’t it? Feel free to bookmark it and return later to reread major takeaways. Firstly, make sure that you know the rules and have enough experience to gamble for money online. Then, choose a reputable casino with licenses and suitable banking methods. Lastly, remember about bonuses, their requirements, and gambling algorithms. Following these simple rules, you will be able to enjoy blackjack and earn money without issues. Good luck!
February 15th 2019 announcement in Manila, BK8.com has named John Terry, English Premier League’s most successful club captains and Chelsea FC legend as the group’s first Brand Ambassador.
Manila, The Philippines: BK8.com, one of Asia’s biggest brands within the online gaming industry, secured the appointment of the English Premier League’s most successful club captains’ and Chelsea FC legend, John Terry, as the Group’s first Brand Ambassador.
The agreement grants BK8.com the exclusive marketing rights to John Terry as Brand Ambassador for all the Group’ s marketing campaigns and advertising platforms in which he will appear across its major businesses, throughout Asia.
The partnership with John Terry underpins BK8.com’s key values, reflecting its commitment and passion to grow the brand’s visibility to become the leading gaming destination for all Asian players.
John Terry said: “I am excited to begin this partnership with BK8.com! They share my great passion for football and I’m looking forward to playing a role in their many future plans to promote the brand to new and existing players throughout Asia.”
Mr. Lawrance Wayneson, General Manager of BK8.com, said: “We are delighted to welcome John Terry to BK8.com; a man who shares many of the same values with our brand and who is always looking for opportunities to reach greatness. One of the most influential and successful captains to compete at the highest level of club football, John Terry is a true sports icon who inspires fans worldwide to strive to reach the ultimate standards of excellence. John Terry will help engage our target audience in Asia and working with him as a brand ambassador is just one of the many exciting, upcoming projects BK8.com has planned for 2019!”
The agreement is a result of a collaboration between Samson Sport Consultancy and Entourage Sport & Entertainment, who are the commercial agents for John Terry.
John Terry was a strong, tenacious, commanding and physical defender and was known for his aggressive tackling, positioning, leadership and his ability to read the game. He is considered to be one of the greatest central defenders of his generation. Terry was named UEFA Club Defender of the Year in 2005, 2008 and 2009, PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2005, and was included in the FIFA Pro World XI for five consecutive seasons, from 2005 to 2009. He was also named in the all-star squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the only English player to make the team.
Terry is Chelsea’s most successful captain, having led them to five Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Europa League and one UEFA Champions League title since 2004! He is one of only five players to have made over 500 appearances for Chelsea and is also the club’s all-time highest scoring defender.
BK8.com is Asia’s largest online betting agency, which provides customers with access to Asia’s top Sportsbook, Casino, Lotteries and Games brands. BK8.com is Asia’s biggest online casino brand, attracting millions of players to join and play. As the official agent of major gambling brands, they provide a huge range of casino games which deliver a premium experience for each player, whether playing at home or via Smart phone enabling continuous access to fantastic promotions that are on offer. BK8.com offers the highest quality across its wide range of products and services. Their Member Service Support Team is available 24 hours, 7 days a week, to provide assistance.
For more information, visit our web pages online at https://www.BK8.com.
( Reprinted with permission )
I just want to take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy and Joyous New Year. I’m sorry that I have been unable to conduct my usual consulting work, travel to different casino and provide them advice and answers to table game problems, teach seminars on game protection and table game mathematics, and looking into and learning all the new techniques the “dark side” of casino gaming has been throwing at us in 2018. As you all know, I have spent the last nine months (has it been that long?) helping to operate a Cardroom Casino in Northern California. Unfortunately, it has taken up a great amount of my time, and because of the situation, it appears that I will be in this same position at least until the summer/fall of 2019. For now, take care and I wish you all a fun and very happy holiday season, and a pleasant and prosperous 2019.
I like to publish questions I receive from various people who contact me and my answers that I believe would be, not only interesting, but enlightening to other people who subscribe to my eBlast list. One major problem our industry has always had is the sharing of information regarding gaming mathematics and issues related to possible cheating and advantage play. I believe in maintaining a forum that is as open as possible where others in the industry can learn from various industry executives and managers regarding their questions and experiences.
Following are three emails I received over the past months. When replying to the questions, there are some instances where I also mention attached backup articles, spreadsheets or charts. If you happen to find the reply to a certain email appealing, and are interested in obtaining the additional material mentioned, feel free to contact me and ask for the specific article, spreadsheet, or chart.
In addition, I do honor your individual privacy. I will omit the location and name of the individual asking the question, and will not use a question/reply if the person who asks the question wishes to keep it between the two of us. Please send any table game related questions to [email protected].
I am wondering if some casino’s place comp restrictions on Video Poker players (Jacks or Better or Double–Double bonus machines)?
Note: Not really a table games question, but I do comment on comp restrictions in ETGs;
The short answer is yes they do. A lot of video poker games operate off a low H/A%, usually less than 3%. In most cases, each slot “point” represents a theoretical give back of 0.25%. If you offer 5X points as a promotion, the give back is 1.25%. If the video poker game is a 1% game or less (played perfect basic strategy), then you have eliminated your edge. Of course this would require the player receiving 100% of their reinvestment return (cash, food, rooms, etc.), but you get the picture. It’s not unusual to see casinos offer 8X or greater promotion days or periods.
Another area to consider is electronic devices/games that involve a participation with the machine manufacturer. You need to consider your “profit sharing” agreement before including that device in your standard point promotion. Example; one major gaming corporation does not give players slot points for play on their ETG roulette machines. The reason for this is that they have a high participation sharing percentage, and even though the roulette machine is subject to a 5.26% H/A% on all bets, if they apply their standard points reinvestment, they are upside down revenue potential. Be sure to evaluate (or reevaluate) all participation devices and games.
I am the table games manager for a casino in Oklahoma. I have a couple of questions about one play only promo chips. The first question is how will having promo chips affect a tables hold %; let’s say the table usually holds X% but we then add promo chips, what is the expected change in hold % and how did you come up with this figure? The second question is how would you create a report showing how the promo chips are doing? If you can give me some directions on these questions it would help me out a lot, please remember that the promo chips are one play only no matter if the player wins or losses.
Great question. Single play Promo chips result in a loss to the chip tray of the table where they are played. If you reduce the amount of chips in the tray, you lower your hold percentage.
The purpose for single play chip promotions is to bring players to the table to gamble. The down side to this promotion will occur if the customers don’t stay at the table long enough for you to win back the cost of the chips. The cost of the single play promo chip is approximately 48% of face value (based on a standard BJ game). If you give a player a $10.00 single play (also known as “free play”) promo chip, it cost the casino (and the table tray) $4.80. If the customer continues to play and bets $10 (on BJ), he will have to place an additional 37 wagers (at $10) before you will break even. In many cases, the marketing department has no idea of this cost and give the promo chips away like they are candy.
Note: In review of this person’s question, I noticed I forgot to answer his question 2 regarding how to create a report that shows the effect, positive or negative, regarding the single play promo chips usage. The answer; you need to compare the cost of the promo chips given away, in this case about 48% of face value, with the incremental revenue gain from the promotion. You also need to add in any additional cost such as extra dealers to open more games, and personal to handle the promotion. In many cases, the promotion is not structured correctly and/or closely monitored by management, and the cost exceed the increase in revenue generated by the promotion. God bless the marketing department; however, a number of marketing personnel do not understand that the cost of this promotion is felt by the table games. When marketing creates a promotion Proforma (I hope they create a Proforma!), they usually don’t include the true cost of the promo chips.
I’ve recently heard that you advise operators to keep side bets on blackjack tables at $100 max or less. I’m reaching out to question your reasoning behind that. More specifically, in relation to the side bet offered at my property. We offer 21+3 side bets that pay 9 to 1.
There are a couple reasons for setting lower side bets limits:
World Game Protection Conference March 2019 – Las Vegas
Don’t forget the World Game Protection Conference, March 3-6, 2019 at the Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas. I plan to conduct two 50 minute sessions; one on Electric Table Games, similar to last year, but with updated material, and a second 50 minute session which will be a “drill down” into Roulette and Craps. It appears there are a couple of gambling jurisdictions that are including both roulette and craps to their State’s available table games for the first time. This session will be interesting for both the “newbie” and the “long-term” veterans. For more information, please go to: https://www.
On the Move
I don’t have any additional jobs other than the one in northern California. I will keep everyone informed when that changes. Following is my obligations for the 2019 (so far):
World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas Nevada
As mentioned previously in this eBlast, I’m always available to answer your questions. If you have any questions on gaming; don’t hesitate to contact me through email. I answer close to a half dozen emails on gaming every day [email protected].
Cheers and good luck.
Bill Zender and Associates
When you enjoy card games, you may want to play and gamble on your Smartphone or other devices. A key part of enjoying a game on your phone or tablet is having the right apps. Fortunately, you can find the online gambling apps for card games by comparing the options and focusing on legitimate sources.
Before you can decide on the mobile gambling card games you want to play, you need to clarify the options available on your phone or device. Android phones and iPhones have different apps and may not allow you to use every application available for a device. Many of the best gambling sites will have apps for all of the major devices, but you should focus on options that apply to your device.
Do not assume that an app is ideal for your favorite card games without looking into the company. Mobile and online gambling is a growing industry, so you will find a variety of different options available on your device. Apps may have a specific type of game, like slots or poker, and they may offer a variety of different options. Pay attention to the description of the app and then look up the company running and maintaining the application.
Pick out apps that have several card games or variations of your favorite card games. You also want to make sure the company is a legitimate gambling app to avoid unnecessary risks when you place a bet. Research is the foundation to limit your risk and ensure that you get the right app for your interest.
A legitimate gambling app for card games like blackjack often provides a bonus when you download the app and sign up for the game. The mobile casino free bonus offer will vary for each app, so make sure you understand the details and read the fine print before you assume that it applies to card games. The ideal bonus is a no deposit bonus. That means you can start playing a card game without putting in a deposit. The amount varies between companies and apps, but the initial no deposit bonus allows you to try out the app and play a game without taking any risk.
While a no deposit bonus is an option, you may discover that the apps offer different types of bonuses for players. A common option is to match your deposit into the game. Matching a deposit up to a stated amount allows you to double your bet or play longer. The purpose of a bonus on the best online gambling apps for card games is allowing you to figure out how to play the game without taking a large risk.
Enjoying card games when you are on the go starts with finding the right applications for your phone or tablet. By focusing on games that offer a bonus, were put out by legitimate companies and apply to your device, you can feel confident in placing your bets. The key is focusing on legitimate companies that comply with legal standards and have several card games available so you can enjoy the experience.
(Reprinted with permission)
August 7, 2018
Dear Friends and Business Associates,
Just so everyone is clear, UNR/OSU cancelled the table game track of their presentation in Tulsa, and I won’t be traveling to Oklahoma to teach. Instead, I have enrolled in the 11thAnnual Las Vegas Anti-Money Laundering Conference and Expo. The conference and expo, presented by Casino Essentials, will be held the week of August 13that the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino. I plan on attending a majority of the meetings Tuesday through Thursday, including all of the events put on by Dowling Advisor Group (DAG). Jim Dowling and his company are working closely with Artichoke Joe’s Casino in order to upgrade our casino’s BSA/AML program. All of Artichoke Joe’s key executives will be attending this conference. From what I understand, this Casino Essentials event in Las Vegas is considered the “Superbowl” of casino industry BSA/AML conferences. For more information on the conference, please go to http://www.casinoessentials.com/events/title-31-las-vegas/.
Answers to Important Emails
Correcting a loop-hole in their manual multiple deck shuffle
Below is the follow up to an email I received two months ago. The casino executive contacting me had been watching a BJ customer punishing him with occasional large bets in the casino’s multiple deck shoe game. The game was a higher limit table, and was hand shuffled. Base on the original email I noted that the shuffle they used did not incorporate a deck “strip” in the shuffle procedure. When questioning this oversight, I was told that any shuffle, or change to the shuffle, had to be approved by the gaming regulator. I advised the casino executive that it was imperative that the casino insert a deck strip during each card grab selection where the cards are riffle shuffled. I received the following reply the middle of July;
Reply by the casino executive:
I just wanted to drop you a quick follow up…
We obtained approval to change the shuffle procedure to incorporate a more standard riffle, riffle, strip riffle for all cards during the shuffle, and…
Our most recent suspected AP and associate returned, checked into a comped room, bought in for a large amount, observed the shuffle, played utilizing a minimal bet spread redeeming all the match plays available to him, retired to his room with his associate cashed out a short time later checked out of his room and left property in an Uber. I can’t thank you enough for your insight and recommendations.
Additional comment on this subject:
Regulators need to understand that for the most part, they do not possess the knowledge needed to judge and dictate various procedures required to make their casino providers’ games safe from scams and advantage play. I appreciate the job done by regulators, and I respect their watch-dog position for protecting the industry, however many regulators need to lose their egotistic attitudes, admit they don’t know the best method for conducting certain tasks and procedures, and seek outside expertise.
No commission Pai Gow Poker Variations
Email from a Director of Casino Games:
Have you ever seen a commission free PG that offered player banking? I can’t think of anything that would vary the math away from the house and that would be different from a standard commission game. In the game in question a Q High Pai Gow for the Banker results in a push of all Pai Gow hands. We would just simply add a rule that states if a player is banking and the dealer’s hand is a Q high Pai Gow the “Banker’s” hand would then always push with the dealer. Have you even seen a casino do this?
Thanks for any input. Also thanks for your input a few month ago about Baccarat. Our game is up and running now and doing quite well. Hope this finds you and yours well.
There are versions of “Pai Gow Poker” where the game is dealt without charging the customer a commission on winning “player” bets. I have attached a PDF of a slide I use in my math presentations. It show three forms of PGP where commission is not charged on the customer’s winning player bets. Remember, the banking customer is either prohibited from banking or still charged a 5%commission on winning banking results. These games are based on a joker being used wild for straights/flushes, and as an Ace otherwise.
That should help answer that question. I do believe that the Commission Free PGP and EZ PGP games are both proprietary (if the patents are still good), and you will have to contact with the vendors.
There has been a lot of interest in the past several years for different versions of blackjack. The most popular by far is “Spanish 21” which is a copy of Australian Pontoon. The next popular variations is the BJ series of “push 22” designed and patented by Geoff Hall. More lately, is the Dave Wisler creation of Down Under Blackjack. For those who are unfamiliar with the game concept, Wisler has developed a hole-card peeking system that actually informs the player about the approximate value of the dealer’s hole-card on every hand. This information is broken into three different categories of “Blue” (low 2-5), “Red” (medium 6-9), and “Gold” (high T & A). The information is helpful to a point, but it still presents the player with a number of hole-card value possibilities that the player has to consider before reaching a hand play decision. Following is my Q&A with this executive.
I am sure you know Dave Wisler from Masque Publishing. He just got “Down Under Blackjack” approved in this State. I remember looking at the game last fall at G2E. Please share your opinion when you have time.
In reality, it’s another BJ variation in the same fashion as Geoff Hall’s “22 push” series of BJ games. The H/A% will be the same as your standard BJ games give or take a small percentage, but it will cater mostly to lower limit players (and the occasional high limit player who is temporarily curious). You should also get a high degree of side betting action on the Match the Dealer which should raise the return high enough to easily offset the proprietary fee. To my knowledge, DUBJ does not pose any new game protection issues, however the game does require the floor/surveillance to understand three different basic strategy charts correlating to the three hole-card categories of small hole-card, medium hole-card, and high hole-card. That is my two cents on the game. I hope to see you at one of the conferences this fall.
Note: DUBJ strategy charts can be found at: https://wizardofodds.com/games/down-under-blackjack/
Scheduled Seminars and Workshop
University of Nevada Reno Extended Studies: Table Game Management – September 17ththru 20th, 2018 – Reno Nevada
I always enjoy presenting at the UNR Extended Studies Gaming program regarding table games management. The students are from different gaming regions throughout North American, and occasionally, from around the world. I will be covering the topics of Casino Mathematics and Table Game Management on September 19thand 20th. Following are the topics covered during my two-day portion of the four-day program:
As I mentioned previously, these are the days I will be presenting; however, to attend you need to sign up for the entire week’s program. I truly believe that price and time spent in this University of Nevada Extended Studies program is well worth it.
See the Gaming Management Series overview for a full schedule of upcoming courses. Email [email protected], call 1-800-233-8928 or visit the website for information about gaming management education from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Table Game Cutting Edge – November
Cutting Edge Table Game Seminar – Monday,
November 5th, 2018 – Paris Resort – Las Vegas Nevada
I will be presenting once again on the first day of the Cutting Edge Table Games Conference. This is another conference at which I like to present. This year’s session covers a lot of the information presented last year, however I have included mathematics on electronic Table Games (ETGs) I always like to update my information and slip in topics that I feel need to be covered regarding the operation of table games. Following is an outline of this year’s session and the times:
The conference will be held at the Paris Resort in Las Vegas, November 5ththrough 7th. For more information please go to their website www.tablegamesconf.com/. I hope to see you in Las Vegas in November.
On the Move
I don’t have any travel plans other than in the northern California area and home to New Mexico. I will keep everyone informed when that changes. Following are a few of my obligations for the summer and fall of 2018:
The 11thAnnual Las Vegas Anti-Money Laundering Conference and Expo (I’m only attending).
UNR Extended Studies: Table Game Management, Reno Nevada
Table Game Cutting Edge Seminar in Las Vegas
Don’t forget the World Game Protection Conference in February/March 2019 in Las Vegas.
I’m always available to answer your questions. If you have any questions on gaming; don’t hesitate to contact me through email. I answer close to a half dozen emails on gaming every day [email protected]
Cheers and good luck.
Bill Zender and Associates
There is only one correct basic strategy for blackjack given a set of established rules. However, since all casinos don’t offer the same rules the basic strategy can be slightly different from game to game. Also, the number of decks used affects the basic strategy slightly. Peter Griffin’s Theory of Blackjack and Stanford Wong’s Basic Blackjack are the player’s best resources for the “correct” basic strategy for any number of decks and rules. Basic strategy charts can also be found in Michael Dalton’s online book The Encyclopedia of Blackjack (Twenty-One) .
The example card shown on the right reflects a correct basic strategy for multi-deck blackjack games with double after splits not allowed and dealer stands on soft 17.
CORRECT BASIC STRATEGY 1)This is a generic multi-deck basic strategy where the dealer stands on soft-17 and double after splits is allowed. Refer to full charts in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack for all rule variations and fine points for single, double and multi-deck games. When trying to make a decision, first decide if surrendering is an option, then whether to split or double and finally whether you should hit or stand.
Surrender hard 16 (but not 88 pair) vs dealer 9, 10 or Ace.
Surrender hard 15 vs dealer 10.
Always split Aces and 8s.
Never split 10s and 5s.
Split 2s and 3s vs dealer 4-7.
Split 4s vs dealer 5-6.
Split 6s vs dealer 2-6.
Split 7s vs dealer 2-7.
Split 9s vs dealer 2-6 and 8-9.
Double hard 9 vs dealer 3-6.
Double hard 10 vs dealer 2-9.
Double hard 11 vs dealer 2-10.
Double soft 13 or 14 vs dealer 5-6.
Double soft 15 or 16 vs dealer 4-6.
Double soft 17 or 18 vs dealer 3-6.
Stand on hard 12 vs dealer 4-6.
Stand on hard 13-16 vs dealer 2-6.
Stand on hard 17 or more.
Stand on soft 19 (A8) or more.
Hit hard 11 or less.
Hit soft 17 (A6) or less.
Hit soft 18 (A7) vs dealer 9, 10 and Ace.
Surrender 15, 88 and 17 vs dealer Ace.
Double 11 vs dealer Ace.
Double soft 18 (A7) vs dealer 2.
Double soft 19 (A8) vs dealer 6.
The correct basic strategy is a proven winning system for the game of twenty-one. It is a strategy which maximizes the player’s expectation given only knowledge of the player’s hand and the dealer’s up-card. In the good old days when single deck was plentiful and rules were great basic strategy could actually give the player a small advantage. Today, casino managers are aware of the power of basic strategy and generally do not offer games that can be beaten off the top of the deck. However, players should keep their eyes open for promotional games which do surface from time to time!
Basic strategy is powerful! All card counters must master it before moving on to the fine art of card counting. Basic strategy is not difficult! A person with average intelligence can memorize it in just a few hours. Basic strategy is the way to play! Every time you make a play on a hunch or intuition and ignore the “correct” basic strategy play you increase the casino advantage against you.
For example, a pit boss witnessing a player standing on an A-7 versus a ten valued dealer up-card would generally consider this player a novice or an idiot. If you stand on this hand you will win it about 41% of the time. If you hit the hand you increase your chances to 43%. Why would anyone not hit this hand? You can’t bust (at least not initially) and you stand a good chance of improving it. But every time I play this game I witness players standing on A-7 vs 10 with the hope that the dealer doesn’t have a nine or ten in the hole. Don’t be an idiot! Trust in basic strategy and play it perfectly. Your bankroll will thank you for it.
For more information on the correct basic strategy and complete charts for blackjack, check out the basic strategy section in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack (Twenty-One). Also, check out the basic strategy app at the bottom of this page.
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FAQ 3: Originally published in Volume 4 Issue 4 of Blackjack Review Magazine
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||This is a generic multi-deck basic strategy where the dealer stands on soft-17 and double after splits is allowed. Refer to full charts in the Encyclopedia of Blackjack for all rule variations and fine points for single, double and multi-deck games. When trying to make a decision, first decide if surrendering is an option, then whether to split or double and finally whether you should hit or stand.|
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