All posts by Michael Dalton

Michael Dalton is the editor and publisher of the Blackjack Review Network and former editor of the quarterly newsletter Blackjack Review. As an authority on the game of twenty-one and a professional level card counter, he has appeared in public on very few occasions. "It is ironic", Dalton remarks, "that to be successful with one's book and writings you have to publicize yourself, which is contradictory to everything that a player must do to be allowed to win at this game." Michael Dalton is retired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) after 30 years working in Space Shuttle launch activites, avionics, software development and project management. He is a graduate of Florida Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Space Science and a Master of Science degree in Space Technology. Besides the space program, blackjack, and poker, his other interests include the martial arts, playing the Scottish bagpipes and managing the BlackjackReview.com web site. He can currently be found enjoying his semi-retirement... You can follow Michael Dalton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bjrnet.

Best Blackjack Tournaments in Canada

BlackjackBy Shayne Ruggiero.

Blackjack is one of the most popular table games and a staple in Canadian casinos and worldwide. Thanks to its simple rules, it is also one of the easiest games to learn.

Whether new to the game or a long-time fan, you might want to try your luck at a blackjack tournament. 

How Do Blackjack Tournaments Work?

Though all tournaments are different, there are some basic features that they all share. First, blackjack tournaments typically require a buy-in or entry fee for participation. 

All tournaments also see players pitted against each other instead of the house, with one winner reigning supreme at the end.

Depending on the prize pool, players are rewarded based on what place they finish in the tournament.

Before joining a blackjack tournament, you should know a few essential things about how these tournaments usually work.

Online vs In-Person

First, players can join two types of blackjack tournaments: online tournaments and in-person tournaments. There are already some great choices out there for both. 

However, with the new changes to Canada’s online gambling regulations, there will likely be an influx of online blackjack tournaments in the country.

Open vs Invite

Another important distinction in blackjack tournaments is whether it’s an open or invitational event. Invitational tournaments are reserved for professional players, and an invitation to play is required. Any player brave enough to pay the entry fee is allowed to join an open event.

Elimination vs Non-Elimination

Tournaments either follow an elimination or non-elimination format. In elimination tournaments, players are eliminated every round until one remains. In non-elimination tournaments, the player with the most chips at the end wins. Non-elimination tournaments end when a predetermined amount of rounds have been played.

Best Blackjack Tournaments in Canada

We’ve looked at some of the most popular blackjack casinos in Canada to put together this list of the best blackjack tournaments in Canada. 

Whether you’re looking for someone online or in-person, something low-risk, or a tournament fit for a high-roller, we’ve got you covered.             

Northern Lights Casino’s Monthly Blackjack Tournament – Prince Albert, SK

Northern Lights Casino in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, hosts a blackjack tournament every second Tuesday of the month. It is an open event with spots for up to 49 players. Registration starts at 6 pm, and play begins at 7:30 pm.

The entry fee for the tournament is only $10. That’s not too bad, considering the first-place winner walks away with a solid $500 prize. It is a relatively small tournament, which might be the perfect opportunity for beginners to get more comfortable.

After the game, you can explore the casino’s other casino game offerings, including electronic table games.

Gaming Club Casino’s Multiplayer Blackjack Tournaments – Online

Gaming Club Casino has been a fixture on the Canadian online gambling scene since 1994. That’s how you know you can trust them to throw a good blackjack tournament. 

The website’s Multiplayer Blackjack Tournaments are won by the player who wins the highest amount of tournament credits after several rounds of play. Players are eliminated in each round until one player is left—the winner with the most credits! Each tournament has a predetermined prize for the winner.

Gaming Club Casino offers two types of tournaments: Scheduled Tournaments and Sit n’ Go Tournaments. Players must register for Scheduled Tournaments in advance. This type of tournament starts and ends at a specific time. Once a player has registered, they simply have to sign into their account before the start time, and they will be seated at the virtual table.

Sit n’ Go Tournaments have limited seats and last a specified amount of time. The tournament starts once the required number of players have registered. These tournaments are advertised on the Gaming Club Online Casino software and can be joined so long as spots are available.

Casino de Charlevoix’s Black Jack Classic – La Malbaie, QC

Casino de Charlevoix’s Black Jack Classic in La Malbaie, Quebec, is not a tournament for the faint of heart. It has a hefty entrance fee of $500 but an impressive prize pool of $31,500. 

The lucky first-place winner will take home $20,000, making the $500 fee look a bit more palatable. The remainder of the prize pool is split between the lower-ranking players.

The tournament starts off with four rounds of elimination accumulation. After the starting rounds, the leading 63 players kick off the actual tournament.

River Belle’s Multiplayer Blackjack Tournaments – Online

River Belle is another Canadian online casino that has built a solid reputation over a couple of decades. It opened in 1997 and continues to welcome players from around the world. The Multiplayer Blackjack Tournaments offered by River Belle are very similar to the ones offered by Gaming Club Casino.

River Belle users can register for any Scheduled Blackjack Tournaments that remain open. The tournament will be cancelled if a minimum threshold of participants isn’t met. There is also a maximum amount of participants allowed in these tournaments. Like the tournaments at Gaming Club Casino, these also have a set start and end time.

River Belle also offers Sit n’ Go tournaments, which follow the same formula as the tournaments at Gaming Club Casino. Players can join the tournament so long as there is still room, as these tournaments require a specific number of people.

Both types of tournaments at River Belle allow people to face off against blackjack players from across the globe—all without leaving the comfort of their homes!

Conclusion

Blackjack tournaments are an exciting way to play this classic casino game. Now that you know some of the best blackjack tournaments in Canada, maybe one day you’ll get so good you’ll be voted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame!

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Why it’s Never a Good Idea to Take Insurance in Blackjack

Blackjack InsuranceBy Paul Kelly.

An insurance bet is an optional side bet that can be made in blackjack when the dealer shows an ace, allowing players to place wagers (up to half of their original bet) on whether the dealer has a blackjack. If the player guesses correctly, he will be paid double the insurance bet and lose his original blackjack bet.  Thus, you essentially break even if your insurance bet wins.   

Insurance is only offered when the dealer has an ace-up and you can only take insurance for up to half of your main bet.  It is possible to keep track of all the 10s in a deck of cards, allowing the player to make perfect insurance decisions.  However, as you add more decks this becomes more difficult.  Insurance is the most important play variation that is possible for card counters.

Insurance bets are generally considered a poor choice because the dealer’s odds of getting blackjack after an initial ace are about 30%.1)In a randomly shuffled 52-card deck the probability of the dealer having a 10 as his hole-card is 16/51 (31.37%). Therefore, the insurance bet odds would have to be at least 3:1 for it to be worth it. The discrepancy is quite large, making insurance bets reasonably low value.  For example, the house edge on insurance ranges from 5.88% (single deck) to 7.47% (8 decks).  Although the house edge is high, card counters can easily exploit this.

Although many versions of blackjack offer insurance options, players should be wary of the drawbacks that come with it. Some versions are highly played and you can play various versions of blackjack at the list of options at Max casinos.  Rest assured that the games available here will only provide the top experiences possible.

The following example demonstrates why betting blackjack insurance is a losing strategy in the long run.

  • You are playing without a partner in a one-deck game and neither card in your initial hand has a value of 10.
  • Thus, your £10 insurance bet has the best chance of winning as 16 of the remaining 49 cards have a value of 10.
  • Despite this, your stance is unlikely to be viable in the long run.
  • The £10 insurance bet loses 33 times and wins 16 times on average. Each victory yields a £20 profit, for a total of £320.
  • However, after 33 defeats at the cost of £10 each, you end up losing £10 altogether.

Conclusion: Avoid The Insurance Side Bet

Blackjack players who are not card counters should never place insurance bets, even if they have been encouraged by more experienced players.  One other scenario we haven’t mentioned is when the player receives a blackjack hand and the dealer has an Ace up.  In this case, the dealer will ask you if you want “even money”, which is the same as asking you if you want to insure your blackjack hand.  Just remember, you are better off winning 3 to 2 most of the time than winning even money for sure.

But what if you are playing in a blackjack game that only pays 6 to 5 on a blackjack.2)Using the word “never” is not always applicable for advantage players.  In the case of games that pay 6 to 5 at blackjack:  There is a small player advantage of about 0.1% if the casino offers even money in these games.  However, most casinos don’t offer even money in 6 to 5 games for this very reason.  The surge in this rule has caused much confusion about whether it’s better to take even money or insurance on your blackjack.  Because the arithmetic is different from a 3 to 2 table, casinos don’t provide this shortcut, but you may still be able to purchase insurance on your blackjack. The issue about completely doing away with insurance has maybe re-ignited as the 6 to 5 blackjack’s only benefit.  Not all casinos, however, will allow insurance in a 6 to 5 game.

Finally, for basic strategy players, betting on blackjack insurance is a losing strategy in the long run, even under the best circumstances.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1In a randomly shuffled 52-card deck the probability of the dealer having a 10 as his hole-card is 16/51 (31.37%).
2Using the word “never” is not always applicable for advantage players.  In the case of games that pay 6 to 5 at blackjack:  There is a small player advantage of about 0.1% if the casino offers even money in these games.  However, most casinos don’t offer even money in 6 to 5 games for this very reason.

How to Minimise Losses in Online Casinos

How to Minimise Losses in Online CasinosBy Bernadine Racoma.

The growing popularity of online casinos comes as no immediate surprise. After all, they make gambling activities more accessible and convenient since they allow users to play their favorite games without having to go to their local casinos. However, winning remains a challenge. And more often than not, the odds are generally stacked against the player.

Fortunately, some practices can help give you much better odds, reducing losses incurred during gaming sessions. In this article, we’ll cover some of these strategies, so if you want to know more, keep reading below.

Set a limit

Whether you play for leisure or profit, nobody likes to lose money. However, it’s an unavoidable reality that all players need to expect. The good news is that you can limit your losses by setting a limit for yourself and sticking within it. Doing so will ensure that you won’t spend any money that you can’t afford to lose and allow you to avoid putting yourself in dire financial straits. 

Research first

It’s a rule of thumb to research the online casinos you’re interested in joining before you make a financial commitment. Studying the safety, security, pay-out histories, and game selection of the gambling website may sound tedious, but it will allow you to find an operator that will give you a fair shot of winning instead of those with titles designed to put players at a disadvantage.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to stick with renowned and reputable gambling operators instead of those that aren’t. For example, if you play Blackjack at CasinoDays instead of a site that isn’t well-known, you’re more likely to win the games.

Learn the games

One of the mistakes that many players make is playing immediately without taking the time to familiarize themselves with their selected games first. Even if you have a basic idea of how they’re played, it isn’t uncommon for online casinos to put their own spin on them and include features or make changes to the standard formula. If you don’t know what they are, you’ll be at a disadvantage.

For this reason, you need to learn the games you want to play before you start putting real money into them. It’s a small investment of effort and time that will pay dividends in helping you win more.

Take breaks

Casino games aren’t all just based on luck. There’s a fair amount of skill involved in them too. If you’re tired, your decision-making abilities could be compromised. So don’t be afraid to take breaks during your sessions. In this way, you’ll be able to get into gaming with a fresh mind and put in a much higher level of play.

Conclusion

In gambling, losses are inevitable. There are no two ways around it. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t control how much you lose, and this can be incredibly important for those with limited financial resources. So follow these tips to keep your losses at a reasonably low level.

IMAGE CREDIT: Pixabay

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What are the Main Points to Pay Attention to when Choosing an Online Casino?

By Leslie Alexander.

Picking the right online casino is easy, right? You just need to search for it using Google and opt for the first item on the list. If you think it’s that easy, then you are very wrong. The number of online casinos has increased dramatically in recent years, and choosing the right one can be quite a challenge, especially for beginners.

In this article, we will give you some tips on how to choose the right online casino. Pay attention to these points and you will definitely find a good place to gamble!

Cards, Dice and Chips

1.     The platform must be licensed

The first and most important thing you need to check is whether the platform is licensed or not. A license is a must for every online casino as it proves that the operator is legitimate and that the games are fair. Most countries have designated regulatory bodies these days that issue licenses to online casinos.

For instance, you will see that the UK has its own Gambling Commission that is responsible for regulating all online casinos that operate in the country. The same goes for Malta, Gibraltar, Curacao, and many other jurisdictions. If you see that an online casino has a license from any of these regulatory bodies, you can be sure that it is a safe and reliable place to gamble.

2.     Bonuses are a big deal

Most online casinos offer some kind of bonus these days, and this is definitely something you should pay attention to when choosing the right casino. Bonuses can come in different forms, such as welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses, free spins, cashback, and more.

One of the great online casino tips is to deposit 20 get bonus for your online game. Players who follow this rule will benefit from receiving a decent bonus that can be used to play their favorite casino games. Of course, you should always read the bonus terms and conditions before claiming any bonus as there are usually wagering requirements and other restrictions that apply.

But if you find a good bonus with reasonable terms and conditions, it is definitely worth taking advantage of it.

3.     You need a variety of games

When you are looking for the right online casino, you need to make sure that it has a good selection of games. The last thing you want is to sign up at a casino that only offers a handful of games. Most reputable online casinos these days offer hundreds or even thousands of different games, including slots, table games, live dealer games, and more.

Make sure that there is a good mix of different games from different categories so that you will always have something to play. To put it simply, you need to ensure that the game selection of a given website is good before you decide to register an account.

4.     The site should be user-friendly

Another important thing to look for when choosing a gambling platform is user-friendliness. The last thing you want is to struggle with navigating the website or finding the games you want to play. A good online casino should have a well-designed website that is easy to use and navigate.

All the important information should be easy to find, and the games should be well organized. In addition, the casino should have a good customer support team that you can contact if you have any problems or questions. The best online casinos these days also offer a mobile version of their website so that you can play your favorite games on the go.

5.     It must be safe and sound

When it comes to gambling online, safety and security are of the utmost importance. You need to make sure that your personal and financial information is safe when you are playing at the digital gambling site. The best way to do this is to look for casinos that use the latest encryption technology to protect your data.

Fortunately, modern casinos tend to be secure. This is exactly why online casino searches have been skyrocketing in the last few years, attracting more players than ever before.

Conclusion

Picking a digital casino is much harder than most people think. However, you can make a proper choice if you follow the above mentioned tips. Are you ready to give them a try?

IMAGE CREDIT: Pixabay.com

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Where Is Online Gambling Legal In The USA

Online GamblingBy Antonio Kaurinovic.

It continues to be a good year in the online casino arena with the ongoing news regarding states that are now allowing online gambling. It must be a good time for American gamblers, too, given that more states are now giving gamblers the freedom to gamble freely without worrying about breaking any laws in relation to gambling. However, in as much as there are so many forms of online gambling, some states in the USA are yet to legalize any of these forms. In the United States of America, online gambling has been categorized into three forms: online poker, online casino, and online sports betting.

On the other side, countries like the UK allow all three, and it is categorized as online gambling. Online gambling is legal for every UK resident that is 18+. The majority of UK online casinos even offer a 100% deposit bonus for every new customer. Unlike the UK, USA residents always have to check if the state allows online gambling and which category it allows before indulging in it. Now let’s look at some states where online gambling is legal in the USA.

  1. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is an example of a state in the USA that has legalized all three forms of online gambling. If you live in this state, you can freely indulge in online casinos, online sports betting, and online poker. Pennsylvania legalized online gambling in 2019, putting a smile on all online gamblers based there. As of now, there are so many land-based casinos that have come up in Pennsylvania, each with its own online casino gambling version giving the gamblers in Pennsylvania various online gambling options to choose from when gambling.

Pennsylvania gaming control as the state’s regulator has ensured that strict laws are put into place for casino operators not to bring video poker machines into the state. This is because although the state allows all three forms of online gambling, it does not allow video poker machines. Therefore it is illegal to engage in video poker machines, but other than that, the rest online gambling forms are legal.

  1. Delaware

Online gambling is legal in Delaware, but that does not necessarily mean all forms of online gambling are permitted in this state. Given that the Division of Gaming Enforcement has regulated Delaware since 2016, the state’s laws are so keen on the internet gambling activities that take place in the state. The set laws control the state’s game industry, so gamblers must be keen and aware of the online gambling games they indulge in.

Some online gambling games legalized in Delaware are slots, lottery, blackjack, on-track racing, table games, and bingo. Poker is also legal in Delaware but only in licensed areas. Any other game not mentioned here is not allowed in Delaware; therefore, playing the not mentioned games is illegal.

  1. Colorado

Colorado is another state in the USA that allows online gambling. It has become one of the best places for sports betting over time. This state is regulated by the Colorado gaming division and the Colorado gaming control commission. USA online casinos are permitted in Colorado, but under the government’s strict regulations, that can’t be overlooked. The online gambling games legalized in this state include slot games, craps, roulette, and bingo.

Blackjack is also part of the legalized games. Some games, such as sports betting, online poker, and casino games, are yet to pass Colorado’s law regulation. It is also important to note that although Colorado allows online gambling for some games, it does not permit individual prop bets on college games. Playing all illegal online gambling games is prohibited; therefore, gamblers must be keen on the online gambling escapades they indulge in.

  1. Michigan

Michigan has permitted betting since 1933, but now the state has become stricter on the allowed online gambling games. The Michigan gaming control board has seen to it that it regulates how things are run in the state on matters regarding online gambling and betting. The state permits the playing of blackjack, slots, craps, poker, table games, and card games. However, playing online gambling outside an online casino is restricted if the casino has a free signup bonus for real money USA. The Michigan gaming control board is responsible for granting casino operators licenses, making online gambling a thrilling experience for gamblers in the state.

  1. New Jersey

New Jersey legalized online gambling after permitting online casinos in the USA in 2013, which for the record, it was the first state to do so. Since then, this state has become a home to online casino options compared to other states. All forms of online gambling are legalized in New Jersey, apart from betting on college games which are prohibited. Some games allowed in New Jersey include online poker, online casinos, and online sports betting. Apart from Pennsylvania, New Jersey is also on the list of the states in the USA that allow all three forms of online gambling.

  1. Illinois

In the 1920s, gambling in Illinois was not a nightmare but a more relaxed experience because people were allowed to gamble as they wished. Things seem to have changed. Nowadays, the state is strict with gambling since it is regulated by the Illinois Gambling Act, established in 2019. Although you can still gamble in Illinois, you can only do so within a licensed casino in the state. Ten casinos with valid licenses have been allowed to operate legally in Illinois. You can bet on various sporting events, but betting on college games and non-sports events is not permitted. Games such as roulette, video poker, slots, table games, and blackjack are all legal in Illinois.

Bottom Line

Online gambling is thrilling and a fun experience for gamblers. However, indulging in online gambling may not be easy, mainly if your state does not permit gambling. States in the USA have somehow made it easier for gamblers to have the time of their life gambling, but some states are yet to legalize online gambling. The list above shows the states in the USA where online gambling is legal. Before indulging in online gambling, ensure you check if your state permits it to avoid getting yourself into a hot soup.

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How do Crypto Casinos Work?

Crypto CasinosBy Jonathon Roob.

Introduction

The potential of digital currency globally has evolved tremendously over the past decade, with gambling joining the bandwagon not too long ago. Online casinos have added cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin, just to mention a few. Gamblers looking for an anonymous betting experience now have access to the best bitcoin gambling websites at the touch of a button.

A crypto casino is an online casino that accepts cryptocurrencies as a payment method for both deposits and withdrawals. These casinos have become quite popular since withdrawals are fast, players remain anonymous, and they can play bitcoin slots with ease.

Crypto Casinos Explained

A digital public ledger, also known as the Blockchain, records all the transactions carried out using cryptocurrencies. This ledger is shared across a network of many computers, bringing in the definition of decentralisation. By doing so, it becomes almost impossible to manipulate this kind of system. Any transaction that appears in a single copy of the ledger is easy to recognize and flag.

How Do Crypto Casinos Work?

Bitcoin gambling websites operate much the same way as traditional online or conventional casinos do – see more . Their major difference is how they transfer or cash out crypto following successful or unsuccessful bets. The gambler will follow these steps before they start gambling on a crypto casino:

1.     Create Your Crypto Wallet

Crypto wallets are secure locations where cryptocurrency assets can be stored and retrieved. These wallets will assign your account a digital address, and come in 4 types; Mobile, Desktop, Web, and hardware versions.

Most mobile wallets have camera features that allow users to scan QR codes. This eliminates the need to copy or write down bitcoin addresses. Wallet applications for smartphones are much safer because the chances of having a virus or keylogger on your phone is much lower than on your computer.

2.     Buy Cryptocurrency

Once you have your wallet, log in and buy crypto using the traditional payment methods. You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the foreign exchange and their value fluctuates just like normal currency.

Using cryptocurrencies eliminates the need for a bank to send money. You can send crypto, for instance, from your crypto wallet to the wallet of another individual or company.

3.     Picking a Crypto Casino

The player must ensure that the gambling site is licensed to ensure security of gambling funds. This can be verified at the bottom of the web page. The withdrawal process of the winning made by the player should be seamless. Most crypto casinos also use bonuses to attract first time players which are usually given upon registration. Positive reviews on particular trustworthy sites is also a good indicator of a legitimate gambling website.

4.     Deposit Funds and Play

Once the player’s account is funded with the cryptocurrency of choice, they will proceed to transfer the wager amount to the casino’s wallet. This figure will be displayed in USD/GBP/EUR depending on the crypto operator. Pick a game and play using the guidelines provided, choosing a suitable wager level.

5.     Withdrawing Winnings

When the player clicks ‘withdraw’, he will be prompted to enter his wallet address. All legitimate websites will ensure the funds comply with all regulations including Anti-Money laundering policies and all audit requirements.

Conclusion

As a note of caution, don’t let yourself get carried away while gambling online. Set your limits before you start your gambling session. Ensure you do in-depth research before getting involved in crypto gambling. While it is not significantly different from traditional gambling, there are a few differences. Understanding them will make it easier to master crypto gambling.

IMAGE CREDIT: istockphoto.com

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Understanding the House Edge in Blackjack

Understanding the House Edge in BlackjackBy James Henley.

Why does the casino have an edge over players in blackjack? It’s a fair question. If the outcomes of blackjack games are determined by chance, then surely the dealer and the player have an equal chance. Theoretically, there is no guaranteed way for a dealer to have a stronger-ranking hand than a player if both play by the same rules. But therein lies the caveat: blackjack rules favor the dealer. The main reason why dealers win more often than players is this: the dealer has an edge because of the so-called “double-bust” rule in blackjack.

Whether you are a new player or a seasoned blackjack pro, you will always act first. If the total value of your cards exceeds 21, you automatically lose. This is known as busting. At that point, it doesn’t matter what cards the dealer is holding – you acted first. Even if both the player and the dealer could bust simultaneously, the player automatically loses. This is how the casino has an edge over the player.

It’s a little clearer when we assess it from a different perspective. Let’s say that you have a 10+7 in your hand and the dealer is holding a Queen+7. Both player and dealer have a hand value of 17. If the dealer draws to 16 and stands on 17 and above, it’s a push. Now suppose that we have a hand value of 22 for the player and the dealer. In this scenario, the player loses and that’s it. We can calculate the probability of busting. Its 28% for the player and the dealer. To determine the probability of a double bust, we multiply the player probability by the dealer probability and we get 8%.

Fun Fact: Dealers can only Hit or Stand – they cannot Split Pairs or Double Down.

Place your Blackjack Bets Carefully

Always read the rules of the table when you play blackjack online. If given the opportunity to choose between a blackjack game that pays 3:2 or one that pays 6:5, choose the former. Blackjack is formed when you have a two-card 21. Sure, it’s possible to form a multi-card 21, but that’s not blackjack and that pays at even money. At 3:2, blackjack will pay $150 for every $100 bet. At 6:5, blackjack pays $120 for every $100 bet. Over time, this seemingly insignificant ratio can mean the world of difference to the size of your winnings, or losses.

But I digress; we should get back to the casino edge in blackjack. Let’s take a few scenarios and determine who benefits from the rules in play:

  • When the player acts first and the dealer acts last, the edge goes to the dealer.
  • When the dealer gets even money on blackjack and the player gets 3:2, the edge goes to the player.
  • When the player decides when to hit, stand, double, split, or take insurance, and the dealer must hit on 16 and stand on 17, the edge goes to the player.
  • When a player can split pairs and the dealer cannot split pairs, the edge goes to the player.
  • When the player is allowed to double down but the dealer isn’t, the edge goes to the player.
  • When the player is allowed to surrender a hand, and the dealer isn’t, the edge goes to the player.

In all these cases, the casino has adopted sets of rules to make blackjack more player friendly. This effectively reduces the house edge and makes blackjack a beatable game. Put differently, all of these rules (as listed above) can reduce the house edge to as little as 0.5% when the player implements perfect blackjack strategy. True, the fact that players have to act first gives the casino a massive edge. That and the fact that the player doesn’t know what the dealer’s pocket card is. It’s a game of imperfect information that often plays into the dealer’s hands!

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Best Online Blackjack Websites in Pennsylvania

Blackjack in PennsylvaniaBy Arsenii Anderson.

Blackjack is one of the most played casino card games in the United States and is available online, in brick-and-mortar casinos, and even at home on your kitchen table. You can play blackjack on your computer or mobile device anytime, anyplace in Pennsylvania now that there are licensed and authorized online casinos.

As long as you are 21 years of age or older, you are permitted to play blackjack in Pennsylvania at any of the authorized land-based casinos. Additionally, internet casinos in Pennsylvania include real money gaming options. Casinos are required by the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board (PGCB) to provide fair regulations for their blackjack tables.

If you are interested in online blackjack in Pennsylvania, then you probably want to check these online gambling sites for the best entertainment.

Unibet

Unibet went live in Pennsylvania in November 2019. The catalog at Unibet has more than 1,000 games in total. Numerous slot machines can be found in the collection, along with card and table games including roulette, baccarat, poker, and, of course, blackjack. Aiming to provide players with cutting-edge gameplay, the games are all produced by top-tier developers including Microgaming, IGT, NetEnt, Play’nGo, and Elk Studios. The blackjack titles provided include standard Blackjack, Blackjack 21+3, Blackjack Multihand, Power Blackjack, and a wide range of live blackjack tables

Two fantastic bonuses should be available at Unibet Online Casino PA to welcome new players. Each will enable users to enjoy the superb games that Unibet has to offer. Initially, there is no deposit required. Customers that register successfully will receive $10 on their account. A player receives a match bonus offer on their initial deposit as the second incentive. Thus, a player can potentially get an additional $750.

BetRivers

When online gaming became legal and sports betting started to spread throughout the US, BetRivers acted quickly, and this promptness says a lot about its platform. BetRivers made its way to Pennsylvania in January 2020. The website offers a huge selection of fantastic games and betting opportunities, straightforward, user-friendly software, reliable payment options, and some worthwhile promos for new players. You can play blackjack titles such as Blackjack with Surrender, Multihand Blackjack Surrender, First Person Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, and play with a live dealer.

New players can save money with the BetRivers welcome bonus. Your initial deposit will be eligible for a 100% bonus up to $250, which is fantastic. Additionally, you’ll receive a 100% match bonus on your following three deposits, up to a total of $175. The wagering requirements are fixed at just 1x for any bonus cash at BetRivers, which is the best part: you only need to bet bonus money once before you can withdraw it.

BetMGM

In December of 2020, BetMGM began operations in Pennsylvania, and today it ranks among the best online casinos in the state. Along with titles from well-known publishers like High 5 Gaming, NetEnt, Lightning Box Games, IGT, and Spin Games, BetMGM also provides more than 50 in-house designed unique table games. You can play blackjack and its different variations like Infinite Blackjack, Live Blackjack, Premium Blackjack Pro, and Unlimited Blackjack. There are classic variations and a multiplayer one available to BetMGM’s players.

BetMGM offers one of the finest welcome bonuses. Without making a deposit, you can get a $25 FREEPLAY bonus simply for signing up and validating your account. Later, the casino will double your initial deposit up to $1,000 in full. You only need to bet the $25 no-deposit offer once to clear it. The wagering requirement for the 100% match bonus is 15 times the bonus amount, and you have 14 days to meet it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Arsenii Anderson is Head of Content at Intress Media
PHOTO CREDIT: Formulanone on Flickr

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The Best Blackjack Appearances in Film

By Hanna Laakso.

Casinos are some of the most unique places on earth. To put it briefly, they are always on a knife-edge. What we mean by this is that no matter the moment you are there, there is always the feeling that something could happen. An eruption of cheers from the roulette table, a tense stare down at the poker table, the sudden soundtrack signalling a big win at the slots, or a moment of magic that only the game of Blackjack can produce. 

Blackjack is a unique game for a number of reasons. It is a game that invites any and all to give it a go. The rules, while being straightforward, still offer the opportunity to learn when to stick and when to attack. If there is any casino game that best defines the knife-edge atmosphere, look no further than Blackjack.

Hand on Deck of Cards

This, coupled with the swirl of happenings that you will encounter on the casino floor, has resulted in the game of Blackjack playing a crucial role in numerous films throughout history. It can used to add a certain twist, to represent a moment of decision making for one of the characters, or to act as a metaphor for what ever adventure may lay ahead for the protagonist. Let’s just stay, just as when you play yourself, it offers a lot of opportunities for film-makers.

It is for this reason that we decided to put this article together, to highlight three of the best Blackjack moments in film history. It is, and always will be, one of the most popular card games. While being one of the oldest, its simplicity continues to captivate generation after generation. So much so that blackjack games at Wildz online casino prove to be one the most popular options even in the age of technology. So, without further ado, let’s delve into why blackjack and narrative were always born to cross paths…

Rainman

Rain Man is a 1988 American road comedy-drama film directed by Barry Levinson and starring the incredible Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In this heartwarming tale, the pair combine to put Raymond’s (Hoffman), an autistic savant, mathematical powers to the test.

After Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) discovers that his estranged father has died and left virtually all of his multi-million-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond, the pair go the road trip of all road trips.

Charlie, in financial debt, soon discovers Raymond’s skills and they devise a plan to win the money he owes at the blackjack table. What follows is the process of two brothers forming a friendship, as well as the demonstration of what the Blackjack table can offer. Two words, must see.

Swingers

In our opinion, Swingers is one of the most underrated films in the history of cinema. It tells the tale of the lives of single, unemployed actors living on the east side of Hollywood, California, during the 1990s swing revival. Down on their luck, they plan a trip to Las Vegas in the hope of finding some meaning amongst the chaos.

When it comes to Blackjack, Swingers is home to one of the burning questions that enters the mind, on at least one occasion, of every Blackjack player. The scene involves a disagreement over whether or not you really should double down on eleven or not. It is a moment that truly demonstrates the genius of Vince Vaughan and Jon Favreau. The conclusion, “you always double down on eleven, baby”. Oh, and by the way, we couldn’t agree more.1)Most movies do not depict blackjack card counting correctly or realistically.  Even the movie 21 is embellished to a great degree. Actually, you don’t always double on eleven.  Blackjack basic strategy tells us that in single and double deck, yes, but if you are playing against a shoe game, you don’t double on 11 against a dealer Ace!

License to Kill

You may have been starting to worry, but do so no longer, of course we have a James Bond moment. For so long, James Bond and the world of casinos have been popping in and out of our lives. It is no surprise based on the fact that both Bond the character, and the casino as a location, both live life on the exhilaration of the road less traveled.

While there was more than one option, we opted to include a scene from License to Kill in our list. The reason being is the stakes. He arrives in town with five million dollars and plans to make an impact from the start. Let’s just say that things get tense, and fast.

The Bottom Line

Blackjack and film are simply a match made in heaven. It can quickly introduce a nail biting moment of hold your breath tension. It can be used to signal a change in luck for a character, a cross roads or just about anything in the right context.

There is a reason why Blackjack remains one of the most popular casino games of all time, and film is a great way to demonstrate why.

IMAGE CREDIT: Pikist.com

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Most movies do not depict blackjack card counting correctly or realistically.  Even the movie 21 is embellished to a great degree. Actually, you don’t always double on eleven.  Blackjack basic strategy tells us that in single and double deck, yes, but if you are playing against a shoe game, you don’t double on 11 against a dealer Ace!

10 Truths About Blackjack Advantage Play

BlackjackBy Michael Dalton.

Blackjack is a fascinating game.  It is simple enough for beginners to understand and grasp the rules but a game that is potentially beatable with skilled play.  However, gaining an advantage over the casino is usually never an easy task.  Here are some truths and facts about the game that all good players should know.

  1. All blackjack games are not the same.  Casinos can have different rules and options that may have a positive or negative affect on your advantage in the game. One of the worst rule changes many casinos have implemented in recent years is only paying 6 to 5 on a blackjack.1)The term 6:5 is an abbreviation for a game in which naturals are paid only 6 to 5. This is not only a sucker bet, but they are cheating you in plain site. A natural blackjack is meant to be paid at 3 to 2. DO NOT PLAY in these games! For more information check The Numbers of 21 section.  Some games have side bets and some games are considered variants of the game.  Good examples of a variant of the game are Spanish 21 and Blackjack Switch.
  2. The correct blackjack basic strategy will reduce the casino house edge to its absolute minimum.  But remember, the basic strategy can be slightly different depending on the number of decks and the rules of the game.  Basic strategy is the players first and best defense at lowering the casino advantage.
  3. Progressive betting systems of any kind can NOT beat this game.  The same applies with any money management system.  Of course, that does not mean that card counters can’t use them to camouflage their play.
  4. It is NOT illegal to count cards at blackjack.  Counting cards is simply using your brain and playing by the rules.  But casinos have the right to throw you out if they suspect you are too good or you are a threat to their bankroll.
  5. Most good card counters can count down a deck of cards in under 30 seconds.  If you can’t perform this simple task, don’t pretend that you can beat the game with card counting.
  6. You don’t need to understand the math behind card counting or any blackjack advantage technique to beat the game.  You just have to be a good practitioner of the techniques that are required.
  7. They say that blackjack is not a team sport.  Well, tell that to all of the blackjack teams in the past few decades that have beat the casinos for millions of dollars.  A blackjack team has many advantages, including the ability to play with an increased bankroll, lowering individual risk, scouting tables and camouflaging a big player’s bet.  But, of course, their are some disadvantages including the trust factor.
  8. Most card counters will use basic strategy the majority of the time while playing.  As the count changes, play variations may be warranted.  Many professional players go to great effort to memorize most of the possible variations, however, we have learned that over 90% of your potential gain from variations can be obtained by learning only 18 plays and if surrender is allowed, 4 additional plays.  These have become known as the Illustrious 18 and the Fab 4.  According to Don Schlesinger, the insurance play alone is worth over 30% of all your gain from card counting.2)Insurance is the most important play variation in a card counter’s play book.  The house advantage for this bet ranges from about 5.9% (single deck) to 7.5% (8 decks).
  9. There are many legal advanced advantage play techniques in blackjack including hole carding, shuffle tracking, ace location and team play. Yes, even hole carding is legal.  Most will think that gaining a peek at the dealer’s hole card is cheating but you are simply playing by the rules of the game — by taking advantage of a dealer who is sloppy.
  10. Over betting your bankroll is probably one of the top problems that skilled players make.  If you are skilled enough to get an advantage in blackjack, or in any game, your bankroll and tolerance for risk will determine your end result.  Stick to a reasonable risk of ruin and you will have a fighting chance.

    James Grosjean’s Opportunity Theorem

    “There is an edge in every game.”

Blackjack is NOT the only casino game you can gain an advantage in.  Most people realize that skilled poker players can beat the game of poker but practically all games have the potential of being beaten.  Advantage players are always on the lookout for ways to beat games or reduce the house advantage.  Even slot machine type games can be beaten given the right situation or circumstance.  When you walk into a casino, don’t just look at the blackjack games – you might be missing out on something much more profitable!

Anatomy of a Card Counter

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1The term 6:5 is an abbreviation for a game in which naturals are paid only 6 to 5. This is not only a sucker bet, but they are cheating you in plain site. A natural blackjack is meant to be paid at 3 to 2. DO NOT PLAY in these games! For more information check The Numbers of 21 section.
2Insurance is the most important play variation in a card counter’s play book.  The house advantage for this bet ranges from about 5.9% (single deck) to 7.5% (8 decks).