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In Texas Hold'em, Being a "Blind" Is Tricky

12 September 2008
In Texas Hold'em poker, the first two players to act must put money in the pot before they're even dealt any cards. That's why they're called "blinds". Everybody else gets to see their two hole cards for free. In a limit $5/$10 Hold'em game, for example, the first player must "blind-it-up" for $2, and the second bets $5 -- blind. ... (read more)
 

Insure Your Blackjack for Less? It's a Legal Play!

22 August 2008
What do you do when you're dealt a blackjack and the dealer's got an Ace showing? If you're in the vast majority of players, you'll take Even Money -- it's a sure thing. Trouble is, taking the sure thing here is the wrong play. Even though 19 out of 20 players may take Even Money in this situation, at least 2 or 3 of them know full well they're not supposed to do it. ... (read more)
 

Fold That Poker Hand Instead of Betting It!

15 August 2008
When making the transition from kitchen table poker to casino poker, you're no longer playing Acey/Deucey with your Aunt Gladys. That stranger across the table with the sunglasses and toothpick didn't sit down for coffee and cheesecake - he came to empty your pockets! So you'd better get familiar with some ... (read more)
 

Blackjack Players Can't Put Aside Their Superstitions

8 August 2008
Blackjack players harbor an entire closet full of superstitious phobias. Following are just a few I've repeatedly encountered at the table. Whatever you may believe about them, I assure you, they have absolutely no credence. The Bad Player Curse: It was the first hand off the top of the shoe and I was dealt 12 against the dealer's 4. ... (read more)
 

How Often Will the Dealer Bust That Blackjack Hand?

25 July 2008
Say you're sitting at the blackjack table and are dealt an 11 as your starting hand. The dealer has a wimpy-looking 5 up. The obviously correct play is to double down. So you put another chip next to your original bet and take your one card for a double bet. Woops – you catch an Ace to finish ... (read more)
 

Poker Is a Game of Intimidation and Respect

18 July 2008
I know you. You're a regular poker buff. When you play poker, you study the cards, you analyze the players and figure your odds. Nevertheless, you're probably not the best player at the table each time you play. There will almost always be people who can outplay you – and people you can ... (read more)
 

Blackjack Players Don't Realize the Value of Their Hands

11 July 2008
We closed the last column with a test question about blackjack hand values. Namely, if you're playing a standard shoe game and the player next to you doubles down for half his bet with 8 against a 6, then with 9 against a 7, and then with 11 against an Ace, should you offer to take the other half ... (read more)
 

There Are Many Different Classes of Blackjack Players

27 June 2008
Other than live poker, blackjack has more strategy to it than any other casino table game. How well or how poorly you play can literally make you or break you. Even among the more experienced players, there are still several classes of performance. Does a player know his basic hand playing strategy? ... (read more)
 

Nearly Everyone Mishandles Their Soft Hands in Blackjack

20 June 2008
So you think you play a pretty solid game of blackjack, eh? Well, if you're like 98% of the players I see in the casinos, you bungle your "soft" hands something awful. Soft hands are those containing an Ace. When you've got Ace/4, that's a "soft" 15 because you can't bust it with your next hit. ... (read more)

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Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey