Saturday, August 19, 2017

Why Head-to-Head is Dead

By Carl Van Eton

Image courtesy of Flickr
Back in the days when men were men and women played slots, back when blackjack was dealt exclusively from a single deck down to the last card, everybody who knew anything agreed that playing head-to-head against the dealer was the only way to go. In the first place, more players meant less rounds in favorable situations. Situations which you might have waited hours for in order to jump your wager. In the second place, once you finally reached the promised land and encountered a plus deck, you didn't want the knucklehead  playing first base to get the no-brainer you were betting on. Thirdly, if the house was foolhardy enough to deal all the way down to the bottom of the deck and you were fortunate enough to have the table all to yourself, there were some devastating tactics made possible by the technique known as end-play. The only downside to such a scenario was that if you were flying solo, your act had better have been damned good. After all, the pit boss had nobody to look at but you.

Friday, August 4, 2017

What the Casinos Don't Want You to Know

By Carl Van Eton

Image courtesy of
Casinos make a good living dealing blackjack.  That’s why blackjack tables outnumber all other table games.  So take it from me that they don’t like it when you do to them what they do to everyone else, which is make money off the math of the game.  In my previous blog, "You Can't Build a Better Baccarat Player," I proved to you that when it comes to winning or losing in the casinos, it all comes down to the math.  Whoever has a mathematical advantage wins in the long run.  Short term results are meaningless.  So is luck.

Monday, July 17, 2017

You Can't Build a Better Baccarat Player

By Carl Van Eton

Image courtesy of Casino Players Club
I was recently telling a friend of mine about the benefits of the Casino Players Club including the educational component that is built into it.  This particular friend is a skilled entrepreneur who is incredibly analytical when it comes to building a business. However, when it comes to the casinos, as I soon found out, he was anything but.  After listening to me tell him about the free educational videos on our website and our resident blackjack school, he looked up at me with furrowed brow. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Good, The Bad and the Studly

By Carl Van Eton

Image courtesy of Big Game Blackjack
Of all the sports available in this world, blackjack is certainly one of the strangest. In all other sporting pursuits, be it baseball, football, golf, tennis or poker, the best players in the world not only get to bring home the bacon, their pictures are plastered on everything from magaziness to cereal boxes. Yet in blackjack, the best of the best are forced to act like spies not yet in from the cold, hiding their identities and their intentions behind numerous facades, the penetration of which would mean their swift ejection from the game. Like the cold warriors of yesterday, once identified, a card counters days are numbered.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Case of the 2-Armed Bandit

By Carl Van Eton

Courtesy Public Domain Pictures
Anyone who has read my Blackjack Express book, has heard me tell of one of the more colorful characters with whom I have played over the years named Joey.  Joey is one of those players who enjoys stalking through the green felt jungle long after the rest of us have called it a night. While a capable card counter under ordinary circumstances, Joey sometimes lets the siren song of a hot table get the better of him.  He'll either play until he doubles his winnings, or he'll play until the Sun comes up while chasing a loss.  In short, Joey loves the action more than he cares about the win/loss.  Add to this syndrome the fact that Joey has a system for practically every game in the house and it is little wonder that I keep him on a short leash any time we are playing blackjack with a joint bankroll.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Should You Take Insurance?

Biy Carl Van Eton

Image courtesy of Big Game Blackjack
Having played and taught blackjack for many years, it never ceases to amaze me how much money is
lost by players due to casino misinformation.  Whether we're talking about the ever popular fallacy concerning luck (which does not exist), or the equally influential dream of hitting the big jackpot that keeps suckers coming back to lose more money, casino fairy tales are nothing if not persistent. Having said that, there is one piece of misinformation concerning blackjack that is so pervasive that even the dealers don't understand wjat's what.  I'm talking about the Insurance Wager.

Any time the dealer shows an ace, he or she will ask the players if they want to take insurance.  The wager permits the player to wager up to half their bet. The highest paying of all wagers on the table at 2 to 1, it pays off to equal the amount of the original wager.  It is also the least understood of all blackjack bets.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

It's Better in Biloxi

by Carl Van Eton

Having lived and played in such gaming Meccas as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, I now find myself Jonesing for some casino action since I currently reside in Jacksonville, Florida.  With the exceptions of the local Dog Track that offers power and the now defunct booze cruise that would take you offshore for a few hours to play other casino games, Jacksonville is something of a desert for a dyed-in-the-wool casino players.  While I can jump in my car and drive 4-hours south to play in the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa, I came to realize that by driving west for 7 hours I could sample a dozen casinos that are in and around Biloxi, Mississippi,

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Truth be told, I used to live in Diamondhead, MS in the lattter part of the 90's, which is a stone's throw from Biloxi.  Back then there were around ten barge-based casinos.  Then along came Hurricane Katrina and all bets were off for quite some time in southern Mississippi.  Now that the casinos have been rebuilt (and I don't mean on barges) and several new properties added, I thought I would clue you in on one of the best little gaming areas in the South by describing for you the trip I recently took to the area.