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22 August 2015
By John Marchel
When it comes to card counting in blackjack, you must be able to judge the correct number of decks remaining in a shoe to help determine the true count. To accomplish this, you need to recognize the correct size in the discount tray, study the stacks and practice. One method for learning these three tasks is to obtain 30 decks of playing cards. With 23 of the decks, create stacks as shown below and tie each with a rubber band.
Stack 1: 0.5 deck
Stack 2: 1 deck
Stack 3: 1.5 decks
Stack 4: 2 decks
Stack 5: 2.5 decks
Stack 6: 3 decks
Stack 7: 3.5 decks
Stack 8: 4 decks
Stack 9: 4.5 decks
These are your models; learn to recognize the size of each of them. Study them closely.
For this drill, take six decks from the remaining 7.5 and practice cutting stacks that equal the size of your models. Visualize the cards you cut as being in the discard tray. As you cut each stack and compare it with the appropriate model, mentally subtract that number from the number of decks in the game to compute remaining decks.
For example, if you cut a two-deck stack and there are six decks in the game, subtract 2 from 6 to compute remaining decks. If you cut 3.5 deck stack and there are eight decks in the game, subtract the 3.5 from 8 to get 4.5 remaining decks.
Do this drill until you are skilled in estimating decks played and remaining decks to the nearest half-deck (26 cards). If your normal practice session is one hour, you should devote 5 to 10 minutes to this drill.
BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW
• June 1, 1911: The Nevada state legislature passed a bill creating the City of Las Vegas.
• The term “stateroom” comes from the days of the riverboats on America’s great rivers. The suites for the wealthy travelers and gamblers on those paddle wheelers were named after the various states of the Union.
• On June 4, 1996, a Braille slot machine patent was issued to Edward B. Kaplan of Absecon, New Jersey.
• The MGM in Las Vegas is the largest hotel in the U.S., with a little more than 5,000 rooms. It also has more elevators than any other hotel at 93.
• Vingt-Et-Un Corporation developed a system called Blackjack II. It consisted of two separate dealing shoes holding six decks each. Depending on the color of the first card, red (diamonds – hearts) a card would be drawn from the red shoe. If black (spades – clubs), the 2nd card would be drawn from the blue shoe. It was designed to prevent card counting, but it never caught on with casinos or the public.
• With 17 sommeliers and three master sommeliers on staff, the Bellagio hotel-casino on the strip in Las Vegas is one of the most wine-savvy hotels in the country.
• In June 1989, a Nevada District court judge denied 19-year-old Kirk Erickson a $1,061,812 slot machine jackpot he'd hit at Caesars Palace in 1987 because he was underage. Nevada law clearly states the minimum age for any gambling is 21.
Join John on his website at www.johnmarchelgamblingtips.com.
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