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Best of John Marchel

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When not to play blackjack

11 February 2017

In past articles I’ve tried to tell you the best way to play and be successful at blackjack. Now I want to tell you when not to play the game. There will be times when the count is going in your favor, but still the dealer is winning three hands to your one. You sit out a couple of hands but it doesn’t seem to change. You move to another table but it’s still the same result. Here are some things to consider before you continue to play blackjack.

1. Do not play at tables with continuous shuffle machines (CSMs)). I’m not talking about tables with shuffle machines that take four or six decks and put them in a machine that shuffles all the decks. I’m talking about when the dealer picks up the cards after a hand and puts them in a machine and immediately pulls out cards for the next hand. That machine is a CSM. They were designed to combat card counters. It does it by starting each hand as an entirely new shoe each and every hand. In fact some casinos use only five decks when using a CSM, again to foul card counters. You can’t even see a streak developing because it is a new “shoe” each and every hand. You should avoid games with CSM’s.

2. Avoid games that play 6 to 5 for a blackjack. If you play basic strategy alone, without card counting you can reduce the house to one-half percent advantage, making it an almost even game. If you play at a 6:5 table the house edge jumps to 1.4 to 1.6 percent depending on the rules and number of decks in play. For example, betting $10 and you get a blackjack you would expect to win $15 at the 3:2 table, but you only get $12 at the 6-5 table. If you don’t play at tables with 6:5 payouts for a blackjack, casinos with stop offering them and go back to 3:2 payouts.

3. Avoid crowded tables. Full tables have many problems for a skilled blackjack player. First, it limits your sitting selection. A full table might limit you to only one seat, regardless of your desire to be last or next to last. If you are a counter, the count can change radically from the first player to the last at a crowded table. That can greatly affect your betting size. A very poor player at the table (it seems there’s always one) can become distracting causing you to make mistakes. At a full table you might also stand out to management if you are the “high roller,” the one making the largest wager. That will identify you as a player that needs extra watching, and possibility of getting barred.

4. You should avoid games when tired, have drunk too much alcohol, or are not at the top of your game mentally or physically. There will be times when you are not sure which soft hands you double down on or should you split 3s when the dealer has a 7? Due to the situation, you are having what some call a “senior moment” or you just draw a blank and can’t remember what action to take. It happens to all of us, but when it does happen, particularly at the blackjack table, you need to stop playing. It could be you had a long flight on the airplane, or you have stayed up to many hours, or any number of other things. You need your body and mind to be at its best when playing the game. Tomorrow is another day, the tables will be there waiting, so quit and get the rest your mind and body needs.


BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW

• The concept behind the blowing on a pair of dice while playing craps is that the player is essentially trying to blow the breath of life into a material body.

• India’s history of almost 4,000 years is rich with anecdotes of gambling. Ancient Indians, between 2000 BC and 1500 BC, considered gambling as a nice way to tingle their minds and have a hearty conversation alongside.

• Inveterate gambler Bat Masterson once so engrossed a faro dealer in a tale of his glory days that the fellow absent-mindedly shoved cards from a completed game back into a dealing box ‘without even the suspicion of a shuffle.’ The cagey Bat caught the error, and by checking his tab from the previous game won turn after turn, losing only an occasional small bet ‘for decency’s sake.’ Toward the end, with Bat anxiously prepared to ‘earthquake’ the last turn, the dealer suddenly smelled a rat and turned over his dealing box, ending the game.

• Casanova once played Piquet, a two-player card game requiring trick-taking, similar to cribbage. A military officer had challenge him to a game were the first player to quit would forfeit 50 gold Louis to his opponent. After 42 hours of play the officer had stubbornly tried to hold out, finally fainted from exhaustion and was unable to continue; Casanova was declared the winner.

• Surveys have found that 75% of players in a casino will be winning sometime during their play, but only 4% leave a winner.

• In 1958 it was reported that the average tourist spent $100 on gambling when visiting Las Vegas. In 2015 that same tourist spent an average of $579 gambling.

• If you need to rest in a room in Las Vegas during 2017, they offer 149,273 rooms for rent.
Recent Articles
Best of John Marchel
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

KISS Guide to Gambling

> More Books By John Marchel

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel