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Best of John Marchel

Gaming Guru

 

Why Players Lose

24 September 2011

Blackjack is a good game to play no matter what casino you might visit. When it comes to the house win rate, it is one of the lowest in a casino. Casinos should only win $0.80 against blackjack players who are playing with a bankroll of $100 and are using Basic Strategy. However, the Nevada Gaming Commission reports indicate that casinos in the state are winning $12 to $14 against blackjack players. At the east coast casinos it is even worse. Atlantic City casinos are winning $14 to $16 against their blackjack players.

The question is why are they winning so much money? The answer is simple. Most people don't know how to play blackjack correctly. Many of these players learned the game from an uncle who maybe played it in the army a long time ago. Others learned it incorrectly at a very young age and still think that is the way to play the hands today.

To illustrate the problem, here is a short list of comments heard at the blackjack tables. See if you recognize any of them.

  • I never hit a 15 or 16.
  • I wouldn't double against a dealer 10, ever.
  • I always split 10s.
  • You can't double down on an ace-5.
  • I would never hit a soft 17 or 18.
  • Why would you want to split 9s?
  • I split 4s, why not?

Every one of those comments is incorrect. Here are the right actions to take.

  • Hit a little hand (your 12-16) if the dealer is showing a big card (7-ace).
  • Double 11 if the dealer is showing 10 or less.
  • Two 10s total 20, the second best hand in the game. Don't mess it up by splitting.
  • Your soft 17 or 18 (A-6 or A-7) is a loser when the dealer has a 9, 10 or ace showing -- hit it!
  • Splitting 9s can be a double winner when the dealer has a low card showing.
  • Don't split 4s, 5s, or 10s.

Learn basic strategy and cut your loses to $0.80, down from $12.

Bet You Didn't Know

  • The opposite sides of each die always add up to 7; if not, they're crooked.
  • Gambling generates more revenue than movies, spectator sports, theme parks, cruise ships and recorded music combined.
  • Chinese believe the color red and the number 8 are considered lucky. The number 4 is considered very unlucky.
  • In Greek mythology, Palamedes, the hero of the Trojan War, is said to have invented dice.
  • It was in 1964 that the electronic poker machines first appeared.
  • In the 18th century, the term "gambling" was regarded as slang according to the Oxford English Dictionary and Supplements.
  • In casinos in England, Australia, and New Zealand, tipping dealers is against the law.
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:

KISS Guide to Gambling

> More Books By John Marchel