Blackjack: Tips . February 2001

Free Listings

Discount Travel


In the News


Blackjack: Tips

by Ralph Stricker

Tip #1: When playing Basic Strategy you should know that you are playing with a negative expectancy. Therefore, the less hands you get, the less money you are expected to lose. You should sit at crowded tables where you will get less hands per hour. Also, bet the least of money table minimum.When you card count, reverse these playing scenarios.

Tip #2: Do not ever play a form of Blackjack known as "Double Exposure." People think that they have the advantage because both dealer's cards are "exposed" (face-up). Nothing could be further from the truth. The house takes the pushes (tie hands) and in blackjack 9% of your hands are pushes. Therefore you are adding 7% to your overall disadvantage, plus the house pays even money on blackjack, therefore adding more to your disadvantage.

Tip #3: Many people practice their blackjack skills at "casino nights" which are sponsored by local charities. At most of these affairs, the rules are unfavorable to the player. The house takes pushes, therefore you are playing with a disadvantage that cannot be overcome even with card counting. The place to practice is at home.

Tip #4: When playing basic strategy only (not card counting) stand on any 3 or more card total of 16, against a dealer's 10.

Tip #5: When playing single deck with "Strip rules" (assuming the dealer stands on soft 17) there is a slight advantage "off the top." Assuming you are counting, you would bet 2 units off the top. If the count went up, you would raise your bet accordingly. If the count went down,you would go to another table where the dealer was shuffling up, you would then repeat the scenario. You are now "wonging" a single deck game.

Tip #6: If you are a counter, do not get into a game until you have a True Count of 1. You are then reducing your over-all negative advantage by 20%.

Tip #7: Until you are confident of your counting skills. It is adviseable to sit in the middle position of the table. This enables you to see cards on the left and right of you without straining. You are less obtrusive to the "pit."

Tip #8: When you first sit at a table, do not ask to be rated until you have put up a bet bigger than your minimumbet. It will be that bet that you will be rated on. If you back count, and get in on a positive count, your bet should be higher than your minimum. You should now get a better "comp."

Tip #9: When playing, always wear a cap or a hat that has some kind of visor, e.g., a baseball cap. This will prevent the "eye in the sky" from getting a look at your face. Remember to wear different style and color caps/hat on successive nights. Also, do not wear identifying jewelry. Change watches, necklaces etc. frequently.

Tip #10: Do not "open" a table where the cards are already in the shoe. The dealer could have put them in the shoe in such a way as to favor the house. Always make sure the cards are laid out on the table before starting at that table.

Ralph Stricker, also known as the Silver Fox, is an expert gambler selling books and tapes called the Silver Fox Blackjack System.