Jim Green`s Guide To Blackjack In No Deposit Casinos

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Jim Green Takes A More Advanced Look At The Game Of Blackjack In No Deposit Casinos
This article assumes that you know how to play blackjack. It`s more of a collection of thoughts about some more advanced topics than a structured article. But hey, have a read.

The effects of different rules / promotions on the house edge

The basic house edge against basic strategy is as follows:

One deck -0.15%
Two decks -0.35%
Four decks -0.48%
Six decks -0.48%
Eight decks -0.56%

Here are some of the more important and common rule changes / promotions for blackjack (- means the rule favours the house, + means it`s good for us):

Blackjack pays 2:1 +2.27% If you find this rule, and it`s not offset by something dramatically awful, run to the table as fast as you can.

Suited blackjacks pay 2:1 +0.57%

Five cards automatically win +1.46% this rule is more commonly offered by British casinos (I think it`s something to do with Pontoon, which is either very like blackjack or just another name for one variation, I`m never quite sure).

Any player total of 21 wins +0.54%

Double on any number of cards +0.23% The strategy remains the same, but if your seven turns into an eleven (or whatever) after the third card, you can and should double down.

Draw to split aces +0.19%

Resplit aces +0.08%

Early surrender (before the dealer checks for blackjack) against an ace showing +0.39%

Early surrender (before the dealer checks for blackjack) against a ten showing +0.24%

European no hole card (the dealer does not check for blackjack before you play if he has an ace or a ten showing) -0.11%

No double after split -0.14%

Player may only double on 10 or 11 -0.18%

No resplitting pairs -0.10%

Dealer hits on soft 17 -0.22%

Blackjack pays 6-5 -1.39%

Blackjack pays 1-1 -2.27%

Player loses on 17 ties -1.87%
Player loses on 17,18 ties -3.58%
Player loses on 17,18,19 ties -5.30%
Player loses on 17,18,19, 20 ties - 8.38% (it is very rare to find a player loses on ties game that is worth playing).

Counting Cards
You`ve probably seen Rainman - "We`re counting cards, counting cards in Las Vegas", maybe you`ve read an article about the MIT blackjack team or seen something on TV about card counting. The casinos fear card counters right? People get "backroomed" for card counting. In De Niro movies you get your hands smashed with hammers, in real life they read you the trespass act and escort you to the exit. Well, yes, card counters have an edge and real-life casinos dislike card counters.

I think I should mention at this point that it`s not the counting that creates most of the profit, it`s being able to dramatically increase your bet size when the deck is favourable. This sort of betting pattern makes casinos a little suspicious (although they sometimes wrongly identify superstitious gamblers as card-counters).

But anyway, a talented card counter can give themselves maybe a 1% edge. Yes, just 1%, and the swings are just as big as they are without counting. Because of their need to make big bets, and the strong possibility of losing those bets, card-counters require one hell of a bankroll to sustain themselves.

Still want to be a card-counter? Great. I hope you have a very good memory, a pretty good head for maths, and nerves of steel. Oh, and a five figure (at a minimum) bankroll.

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I have no desire to try counting again. I practised counting, and the associated mental arithmetic, for an hour a day for a couple months before my birthday so when I was allowed to go to the casino, I could dominate it. I wouldn`t have to get a job to pay for university! I`d be the man!

Anyway, I set aside a two thousand dollars bankroll and went to the casino for several hours pretty much every night after my birthday. I lasted about a month before somebody noticed my rather betting spread, and other suspicious signs, and I got warned off.

My total profit for that month of work, and the practise beforehand - one hundred and twenty dollars. I think my expected profit should have been about $75, so believe it or not, I was doing well. I made perhaps about as much as a dollar an hour for all the effort I put into counting.

This is all fairly academic though. Card counting online is impossible. Online casinos shuffle after every deal, so the deck is never "rich" or "poor".

If you`re still interested in blackjack after all this, there are some good books in our shop.

I particularly recommend:

Blackbelt in Blackjack by Arnold Snyder - This is perhaps the best introduction to card-counting that there is. It`s not very technical or math-infested, and will get you to a strong level quite quickly.

Million Dollar Blackjack by Ken Uston - This book covers everything from basic strategy to the Uston advanced plus/minus counting system. It is also packed with interesting stories from one of the gods of blackjack and advice on other issues like playing in a team.

Blackjack Secrets by Stanford Wong - this guy is a gambling, especially blackjack, genius. 256 pages packed with useful information. Best suited to intermediate or experienced players, although an intelligent beginner can benefit almost as much.

Professional Blackjack by Stanford Wong - This is widely considered to be Wong`s best work. It`s definately not for a beginner, but if you`re serious about blackjack then this is pretty much a must-have.

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