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Blackjack Adventures: Iím Confused!
by Bobby Singer

Iíve now been playing winning Blackjack in casinos worldwide for more than forty years. I never get tired of playing, talk-ing, or writing about Blackjack. To me, it just plain feels good.

Professional win-ning Blackjack players like myself are successful for many reasons, but mostly because we are card counters. Most people are aware that card counting works. Common sense dictates that if card counting didnít work, casino personnel wouldnít ask us to leave. The novice Blackjack player however doesnít realize how easy it is to count cards. We donít memorize the cards played, but instead apply simple plus or minus values to the cards for determining when the player has the advantage before the cards are dealt. This allows us to bet more when we know we will win more than half of the hands and of course bet less when we know the dealer will win more than half of the hands. But first we begin by playing all of the hands correctly. Playing all of the hands according to their mathematical superior play is called basic strategy. Just playing perfect basic strategy in a casino with good rules gives the player an almost break even game against the house. A simple plus/minus card counting method applied correctly then gives the player a mathematical advantage over the casino. It sounds simple enough to me. But here comes the big question. If itís so simple, why arenít more people playing winning Blackjack?

Saturday, July 13, 2002, the time is 10PM. My wife and I just exited the movie theater and decided to hit some of the casinos near Palms Springs. Our first stop was one not to far from our home. The casino was very busy. Before playing I always check out the game. The table limits from low bet to high bet were quite good. Mostly six deck shoes but with good penetration. They allow doubling down after a split, overall not a bad game. However, they hit soft seventeen. I know that several casinos nearby stand on all seventeenís, a much better game.

My wife and I headed for another casino in the area that was also very busy. On most tables the dealer does stand on all seventeenís but overall the game was one of the most player unfriendly games I had ever seen, almost insulting to a playerís intelligence. The table limits were ridiculous, $5.00 Ė200, $10.00 Ė300.00, and $25.00 Ė500.00. They had single deck Blackjack that only paid 6 to 5 on Blackjacks. No doubling down after a split, dealer hits soft seventeen, and penetration barely passed a half a deck. The double deck game paid 3 to 2 on Blackjack, but the dealer also hit soft seventeen, didnít allow doubling after a split, and only dealt 1 of 2 decks before shuffling. On the 6 deck shoe games, the dealer did stand on all seventeenís, the player could double after a split but the penetration was only an estimated 60%. I never would have played in this casino, but that soon became a mute point. Within ten minutes of being in this casino a dealer recognized me and immediately pointed me out to a nearby pit boss. For the next ten minutes I was most amused watching them as they were watching me walk from table to table as if I was going to sit down. Before exiting the casino I walked over to the table where the dealer had recognized me and in my own defiant arrogant manner asked the dealer if he got any ďbrownie points.Ē I couldnít resist reminding him the man in the pit doesnít tip him. Only the players do and certainly those that win. He tried to speak but as his face turned red he was speechless. My wife and I than went to The Fantasy Springs Casino, also in Indio. This was the least busy casino of the three. Iím confused!!!

Why am I so confused? Iím confused for many reasons. Letís begin with the Blackjack game at Fantasy Springs. It is terrific! The dealer stands on all seventeenís. You can double down after a split and best of all they were dealing 41/2 to 5 decks of a six-deck shoe before shuffling. Besides a great game of Blackjack, the dealers and pit bosses were also friendly. There didnít appear to be any ďheatĒ on the game. If this was the best game in town, why did the other casinos with much worse games have more players? Iím confused!!!

I decided to check the skill level of all the Blackjack players in this casino. In less than thirty minutes I saw every person in the casino playing Blackjack make at least one mistake just on basic strategy ó no wonder there wasnít any heat on the game. Where are all the people who purchased Blackjack books or basic strategy cards sold at almost every casino gift shop? Iím confused!!!

There are many excellent Blackjack books. Great authors such as Stanley Roberts, Arnold Snyder, Stanford Wong, and Jerry Patterson just to name a few. Since 1985 I personally have sold almost a half million home study courses from my infomercials. Where are those people that have purchased books on winning Blackjack? Iím confused!!!

Someone who plays Blackjack, who understands the game and plays correctly even if itís only basic strategy, can use this as a foundation. Their skills grow and the authority with which they play becomes amplified. It feels good. Itís much more enjoyable to win and itís easy enough to do. Donít let the casinos win this battle. Play only where the rules are good and play to win. Please also remember that when you win, youíre playing at the table for much longer periods of time. This extended playing time leads to more profit and more comps. Losers pay and winners stay!

This fall I will be playing golf in Myrtle Beach. My wife and I decided to drive across the country and visit the casinos along the route we have chosen. It doesnít seem to matter how visible Iíve been on TV. I can usually play without disguise by blending in and not attracting any unnecessary attention to myself. I certainly intend to play at most of the casinos in Tunica and Biloxi. Mississippi here I come. Iím not confused about that!!!

This story was first published in the October - November 2002 issue of Gambling Times Magazine.

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