Below you will find a list of frequently asked blackjack questions and from time to time we add more to the list. You can ask us a question if you do not see it in the list and we will consider answering and adding it below!

The seat referred to as “Third Base” is the seat to the dealer’s immediate right. In live blackjack the player who is sitting in this seat is the last player to receive cards and the last player to act on their hand before the dealer must act. Because the player sitting in Third Base has last action they are aware of all that has happened at the table before them. This can present a significant advantage when using card counting.

The Third Base player has plenty of time to see the cards of the other players at the table and more time to maintain the running count. In addition, the decisions made by the Third Base player can often have an effect on everyone else at the table. A player sitting in Third Base who does not understand basic blackjack strategy might make the wrong decision and inadvertently take the dealer’s bust card, thereby causing the entire table to lose. Experienced players should always prefer the Third Base seat at the blackjack table.

When the dealer “draws out” he makes a winning hand from a hand that was likely to bust. An example of this would be the dealer having a 16 and hitting the hand with a 5 for a 21. The odds say that the dealer is likely to bust a hand like 16 and players should stand when the dealer shows a 6 as an up card. Despite the probability that the dealer will bust, sometimes the dealer will draw low cards and make a winning hand. When this happens it is said that the dealer “draws out.”

This is the dealer’s way of asking you if you wish to purchase insurance on your own blackjack. Taking insurance when you have blackjack will guarantee you a payout of even money, or 1-1, instead of the 3-2 payout you would normally receive for a blackjack.

If you do not take even money and the dealer has a blackjack you will tie and receive nothing for your winning hand. As a rule, insurance is one of the worst bets offered at the lackjack table. The one time when you should always take insurance is when you have blackjack. You will win at least the amount of your initial wager.

You might think that the yellow card used to cut the decks of cards before they are placed in the shoe is just a tool for cutting, but the card has a more important purpose. After the cards have been cut, the dealer will place the yellow card somewhere near the bottom quarter of the shoe. When this card comes out of the shoe it signals the dealer that it is time to shuffle the deck.

The placement of the yellow card is important to card counters because the lower it is placed in the shoe the deeper the penetration of the deck. A deeper penetration results in a more accurate count for the player. Whenever a casino suspects someone of counting cards they will often have the dealer place the yellow card closer to the center of the deck in order to limit penetration.

This is a tricky situation for a player. However, if you suspect that the computerized dealer has made a mistake or even cheated you outright there are a few things you can do.

The first thing is to try and take a screenshot of your computer before the next hand is dealt. This can be difficult but many casinos do not begin the next hand until you place a new bet. In some online casinos it is also possible to replay the last hand. You can hit the replay button and take your screenshot from there.

Your second task is to contact the support team of the online casino. You will need the screenshots you took for verification. Explain to them what happened and provide your documentation.

If they can determine a mistake has been made then you will likely be compensated in some fashion. If all else fails and you feel that you have genuinely been cheated, your final recourse is to stop playing at that online casino.

Unless you are playing a variation of blackjack known as Double Exposure you will not be able to view the dealer’s hole card online. This is what makes blackjack a gambling game. You never know what the dealer has in the hole.

It can be helpful, however, to always assume the dealer has a ten in the hole and act accordingly on your hand. This is a principle of basic strategy. You may come across software programs that promise to allow you to see the dealer’s hole card while playing at an blackjack at an online casino. It is best to avoid them. Many of these programs contain computer viruses and you can also be discovered and branded a cheater. If this happens you will not be allowed to play blackjack at the online casino where you were caught and you could also be prosecuted.

If you are playing blackjack in a live casino it is oftentimes impossible to avoid other players at the table. Sometimes these players can be drunk or obnoxious, and sometimes their lack of blackjack knowledge can cause them to make poor decisions which cause the entire table to lose.

If you find yourself sitting next to one of these kinds of players the only real option you have is to find another table. Do not confront the player. If an altercation occurs the casino will ask both of you to leave. Every live casino has many blackjack tables. If the player next to you is behaving in a way that you cannot accept, find a different table.

Blackjack is the only game in the casino besides poker in which a player’s skill can affect the house edge. As such, it is not entirely a game of luck. Blackjack introduces the human element into the game by giving players the opportunity to make decisions on their hand. Players are in control of how they play their hand. They can hit, stand, double, or surrender. These elements introduce skill into the game.

A player who understands basic blackjack strategy and how to count cards will outperform a player who does not in the long run. This proves that blackjack is more than a game of chance.

Unless you are an autistic savant like the Rain Man or have a strong photographic memory, keeping track of every card in the deck is impossible. Casinos use six to eight decks in their blackjack games and the game moves very fast. This is a common misconception among people who want to learn how to count cards.

They think that card counting is counting all of the cards in the shoe. This is not precisely correct. You do count cards, but there is no need to remember how many fours or sevens remain in the deck. Instead you use a running count which assigns a point value to each card. As the cards fall from the shoe you add or subtract the value of each card from the running count.

The exception to this is that many counting methods do require you to keep a side count of the aces. With practice this becomes very easy.

It is highly unlikely that a dealer will risk cheating in a live casino. They simply do not get paid enough and the security cameras in the casino are very good. If a dealer were to cheat the casino would know it almost immediately.

However, if you do suspect a dealer is cheating by helping another player at the table your best course of action is to alert the pit boss of your suspicions. Take a walk to the bathroom and on your way find the pit boss.

The pit boss is easy to recognize. He or she will be wearing a suit and standing off to the side observing the blackjack tables. Discreetly tell the pit boss what you think is happening and they will alert the “eye in the sky” to pay closer attention to that table. Under no circumstances should you confront the blackjack dealer yourself. This will only get you removed from the casino.  You may also be interested in Card Marking in Live Blackjack Games

If you are a beginning blackjack player and have not yet mastered the art of card counting, always doubling down on your total of 11 is a very sound play at the blackjack table.

The reason for this is that a deck of cards contains more ten-value cards than any other single card, thereby increasing your chances for receiving a 10 on your 11 and making an unbeatable total of 21. Those who are experienced at card counting, however, will not always follow the rule of doubling down an 11. If the count is very negative, an experienced card counter may prefer to hit the hand instead.

In many live casinos a player is permitted to double down on any two cards. This includes doubling down a blackjack, or 21. Why would a player want to double down their own blackjack? The main reason is the payoff for the hand. A blackjack pays 3-2.

If the hand is doubled down and the player wins the payoff is increased to 2-1. Doubling down a blackjack is a very risky play at the blackjack table and should only be used by the most experienced card counters. In addition, this is considered an expert play and it is likely to attract the attention of casino staff.

The most likely reason you are losing in a home blackjack game is because of the way you are playing the game. If you are playing heads-up with one other person and each of you is simply trying to beat the other’s total then probability theory dictates that you will only win half of the time.

To effectively play blackjack at home you must play it in the same way it is played in the casino. This means that one person must be chosen as the dealer and play against all of the other players. If you want to increase your chances of winning blackjack at home, always play the role of the dealer and use the same rules used in the casino. Blackjack has a built-in edge for the house.

In many live casinos a player is permitted to double down on any two cards. This includes doubling down a blackjack, or 21. Why would a player want to double down their own blackjack? The main reason is the payoff for the hand. A blackjack pays 3-2.

If the hand is doubled down and the player wins the payoff is increased to 2-1. Doubling down a blackjack is a very risky play at the blackjack table and should only be used by the most experienced card counters. In addition, this is considered an expert play and it is likely to attract the attention of casino staff.

This is a great question. If you can find a single deck game, by all means play it! Click here to read the full answer.

No. None of the MIT blackjack players ever suffered physical abuse by casino staff. However, the events depicted in the film 21 accurately portray things that have happened to other card counters in the past. Las Vegas, in particular, was a very bad place to get caught counting cards. In the early days of Las Vegas gambling it was not uncommon for a card counter to be beaten by casino security or worse.

Over the years this type of behavior has been replaced by other measures such as banning the card counter from the casino. The casinos have learned that this is a far better way to eliminate card counters than beating them up in a windowless room.

Many card counters who have been banned from the casino often don a disguise so that they can return to the blackjack tables. While wearing a disguise such as a fake beard or moustache is not technically illegal in most casinos, it is illegal for a player to return to a casino after they have been banned. This is trespassing and can be prosecuted.

Today it is very difficult to create a disguise that will fool the sophisticated facial recognition software that is being used by many casinos. This software can often identify a person even when they are wearing a very basic disguise.

Technically, you are responsible for the money you win playing blackjack and must pay taxes on your winnings. You can also deduct losses and certain related expenses. Unless you are making a lot of money at the blackjack table it is very unlikely that your winnings will be tracked by the casino.

All casino transactions are handled in cash which might make you think that there is no record of your wins and losses. This is not true. Whenever you sit down to play blackjack the pit boss will come over and ask for your player’s card or ID. They will then log you into a computer system which tracks how long you play, how much money you started with, and how much you left the table with.

This process is called rating and is practiced by most live casino under the guise of rewarding your for your play. Always remember that the player’s cards offered by the casino are a perfect way for the casino to track your every move. If you are gambling professionally and earning your living from blackjack you must file a tax return or risk being charged with income tax evasion. Here you can read more on gambling & taxes.

Most of the early casinos in Las Vegas were indeed controlled by the Mafia, and they made it a practice to dispense their own form of justice which was swift and brutal. Card counters were considered cheats. When someone was caught counting cards in a mob-run casino they were often brutalized by casino heavies. Yes, a favorite method of punishing a cheater was to break one of their hands.

These measures were taken in an effort to leave an example for other players who were thinking about counting cards. Since the mid 1980’s these old-school methods have disappeared from Las Vegas and other gambling locations as the Mafia influence was diminished or removed altogether.

Many casinos today offer two varieties of electronic blackjack. One is similar to video poker. The other is more like actual blackjack with a virtual dealer. In both cases, these games are a poor bet for a serious gambler. For one thing, all electronic blackjack games reshuffle the deck after each hand is dealt.

This makes card counting impossible to do. Another concern is that the results in video blackjack are determined by the computer just like a slot machine. No strategy is involved. The computer decides if you win or lose a hand. On these types of games the house edge is very high and this makes it impossible for a player to win in the long run.

If you do decide to play video blackjack in a casino, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of winning. The best one is to look for a video blackjack game which offers a huge progressive payout for a specific hand. Some video blackjack machines pay a jackpot when you and the dealer both have two suited aces, for example.

If you want to increase your chances of winning at video blackjack only play these machines when the progressive jackpot is very high. The other way to increase your chances of winning at video blackjack is to learn how to walk away when you are ahead. Greed is the reason most players lose money at casino games. Be willing to take a smaller profit and do not remain at the game after you have won a significant amount of money.

You can! There is no rule in blackjack which prohibits you from doing so.

Be advised, however, that this is one of the worst blackjack mistakes you can make and it is likely to turn the other players at the table against you. The reason you should not split tens is because you have a total of 20, an almost unbeatable hand.

Also, if you choose to split the tens there is always a chance that you could take the dealer’s bust card and cause the entire table to lose when the dealer makes a high total. When this happens you will not feel very comfortable sitting with players who are mad at you for making a basic strategy mistake.

In blackjack games where the player’s cards are exposed there is no rule which prohibits you from doing this. In single or double-deck blackjack where you cannot see the cards of other players this may be frowned upon. Many times at a live blackjack table you will encounter a player who is playing for the first time and they will ask for advice. The casino usually has no problem with you helping them make a decision because they know that the house edge is too great for a beginner to overcome. Use discretion and ask the dealer whether or not such behavior is permissible before you offer help to another player.

Talking on your cell phone is not permitted at any gaming table because the casino wants to insure that you are not colluding with someone else in order to cheat. For example, someone could be standing behind the dealer and seeing the dealer’s hole card.

They could then relay that information to you on your cell phone. If you need to use your cell phone during a game of blackjack you will need to stand up and clearly step away from the table. If you ignore the dealer’s warning you will likely be removed from the casino.

In multiple-deck games the answer is no. In single and double-deck games you are permitted to touch your cards with one hand only. The reason why you are not permitted to touch the cards in multiple-deck games is that in the past some players have been able to “score” or mark the cards in such a way that they can be identified when they are dealt.

Cheaters would score the aces in the deck so that they could tell if the dealer had one as their hole card. The casino also wants to prevent the possibility that someone will add extra cards to the deck or change them once they have been dealt.

Many online casinos offer you a cash bonus which matches or exceeds your original deposit. Some even offer free money just for signing up. This money is added to your account but it cannot be withdrawn immediately. It must be wagered on the casino games. Playthrough means that you must wager the bonus money and then you are free to cash out the profits. For example, the casino gives you $100 in bonus money.

You must wager, or playthrough, that $100 at blackjack or another game. Once you have wagered the entire amount your winnings then become a part of your regular account and can be withdrawn. It sounds complicated but it really is very simple:

Receive $100 bonus
Bet $100 bonus on blackjack
Cash out profits

It is always best to use your online bonus money on blackjack instead of the slot machines to accomplish the playthrough requirements.

When Benny Binion opened the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas he proudly announced that the casino would book any bet no matter how large. A gambler named William Lee Bergstrom decided to put Binion’s claim to the test and arrived at the Horseshoe in the early 1980’s with a suitcase containing $777,777 in cash. Bergstrom walked up to a craps table and requested to bet the entire amount. The suitcase was placed on the don’t pass line and the craps dealer did not even count it. Two rolls of the dice later Bergstrom walked away with a profit of $777,777.

Bergstrom returned to the Horseshoe two more times and placed bets in excess of $500,000 which he won. In 1984, Bergstrom showed up with $1,000,000 in his suitcase and again requested to bet it all on the craps table. He lost the bet. Not long after this, Bergstrom was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel of an apparent suicide. While the story of the “suitcase man” does not involve blackjack, it is a cautionary tale about the dangers of compulsive gambling.

“The casino I go to only has computerized blackjack, even though they may have a live “dealer” behind the table, it’s all computer play. Are they programmed to go on runs like that?” After being asked that question by a reader, we asked a casino shift supervisor directly and where told about these machines, the answer we received was expected and typical of the casino industry. See it here.

“This is actually not hard to do. It is common for countries in like UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrian and Saudi Arabia to filter the web content served via internet service providers. Online Casinos would be on the list and hence, if you wanted to play blackjack Online While in Dubai for example you would want to read about how to unblock blackjack.

Several years ago, after Edward Thorp published his now classic book on how to count cards, casinos in Las Vegas changed the rules so that even card counters could not gain an advantage. There was widespread outrage by blackjack players, who boycotted blackjack tables. Profits plummeted overnight, and casinos were forced to reinstate the old rules which would give counters an edge. Ever since then casinos have been terrified of losing money from something like that happening again, so they are very reluctant to change the rules. In addition, the reputation of blackjack as being a beatable game, has helped it become the most popular casino game. Even with the card counters, blackjack is very profitable or the casinos.

Many players do not believe that they are capable of learning how to count cards. There is a widespread misconception that card counting requires an extraordinary memory. Still others are skeptical and do not believe that card counting works. In addition, most people do not want to dedicate their lives to counting cards, as it can be tedious and less rewarding than a “real” job.

Continuous shuffling machines were invented to thwart counters and shuffle-trackers, and to increase profits by allowing more hands per hour, due to the time saved from shuffling by hand. They shuffle cards much more thoroughly than a dealer can by hand. Will they eventually be used at all tables in all casinos? Luckily, no. Many dealers do not like the machines because they force them to deal nonstop; shuffling provides some relief from this tiring task. Second, many players, are suspicious of these machines, and think that something underhanded is going on. At Foxwoods casino in Connecticut (the world’s largest casino), they recently got rid of all shuffling machines at the blackjack tables. Continuous shuffling machines are not to be confused with automatic shuffling machines, which shuffle the deck mechanically, but are not fed back into the shoe.

Not playing perfectly. There is little room for error. Remember to always take insurance at +3 or higher, regardless of what cards you have. Also don’t get excited when the count is high, and bet more than you should. For example, say your total bankroll is 5000 dollars, and the count is +5. Your bet should be about 100 dollars. Betting any more than this will increase your chances of losing your entire bankroll. Never bet more than you’re supposed to.

Absolutely not. This is a surefire way to lose quickly. You cannot play on gut feelings or how the cards are flowing. It may seem that when the cards are flowing well that you are more likely to win your next hand, but this is not true. Winning streaks and losing streak occur, for sure, but they are completely impossible to predict. To witness a similar phenomenon, go to a roulette table. The odds of black coming up are the same as the odds of red coming up. Yet, streaks in which black comes up five times in a row are not uncommon. Does this mean that after black has come up five times it is more likely to show up on the next spin? No, the odds are ALWAYS the same, yet somehow we believe that when black is “hot” it is more likely to come up.

Stanford Wong, a renowned blackjack expert, actually did a study on this topic, and found that even if you win 3 hands in a row, the odds of winning your next hand is exactly the same as if you had lost 3 hands in row. I know how frustrating it is to win hand after hand, and have only 10 dollars up each time because the count never reached +1 or higher. But the bottom line is that whenever the count is below +1, the casino has edge over you, so bet as little as you can.

you can tip the dealer in several ways, which way you do it is really up to you. You can give the tip directly to the dealer, or place the tip on the edge of the betting circle and bet the tip for her.

Remember that your edge over the casino is only 1%. In one hour, if your average bet is 30 dollars, you can expect to make about 20 to 30 dollars per hour. If the dealer is polite and friendly, feel free to tip her a couple dollars. But never overtip, even if you win a lot of money. If you tipped the dealer 25 dollars in one hour, you have just essentially worked one hour and given your paycheck to the dealer. If the dealer is rude or unfriendly, don’t even bother tipping, even if you break the bank.

Maybe, but only unless you are either foolish or very unlucky. Although casinos employ people to spot card counters, if you don’t stand out and draw attention to yourself, you will probably not get caught. Remember though, it takes only one time to get caught. If they do catch you counting cards, there are several things that may happen to you. Most likely they will take a picture of your face and enter it into the Griffin book, which is an electronic database containing pictures of known card counters. This database is shared with other casinos throughout the United States. So if you get caught in a casino in Las Vegas, and then go to a casino in Reno, they can look up and see if you are a registered counter. If you are, you will be asked to leave, and never come back. If you do come back, you may be given a warning the first time, but after that you may be arrested for trespassing.

It’s very important, therefore to be very careful not to get caught. Obviously, you want to use your common sense. Don’t announce that you know how to count cards, or make anyone suspect that you know anything about counting cards, or even basic strategy. Don’t play for extended periods of time, keep your sessions short (five hours or less). If you have a huge bankroll, and your maximum bet is 500 dollars, don’t sit at a 10-dollar table and bet 10 dollars when the count is negative. The huge spread between your minimum and maximum bets will definitely draw the attention of the floor managers, who might inform the pit bosses. So sit at a 25-dollar table, where people routinely bet 500 dollars and doing so does not draw attention. Try to be as quiet as possible, but don’t make it look like you’re concentrating. When counting the cards, don’t move your lips. Never ask to seek the burn card. One card never makes much of a difference, and repeatedly asking to see the burn card at the beginning of the shoe, or when the dealer changes can easily arouse suspicion. The bottom line is to use your common sense and to try to make yourself look like just another gambler.

In Atlantic City you cannot be banned for counting cards, but they will try to thwart your attempts by resorting to some tactics. This includes shuffling whenever you press your bet or are starting to win. They may also cut off half the deck or more, making it impossible to win.

I prefer to sit at the first or last seat because there I can count the cards without moving my head while counting the cards, which might draw attention. Other than that, there is no real advantage from sitting at a particular seat if you are using basic strategy only. However, if you are counting cards and varying your strategy according to the count, you have a small advantage from sitting at the last seat, since you see more cards coming out before you decide what to do with your hand. For example, if the count becomes high because players took a lot of small cards while hitting, you may double down on your 9 against the dealer’s 2.

Shuffle tracking is examining the dealer’s shuffle to determine where a high proportion of tens and aces are in the deck. When that part of the deck is going to be dealt, the shuffle tracker increases their bet. It is an extremely difficult task, and many casinos have implemented countermeasures to thwart shuffle trackers. For the average person, including myself, learning how to shuffle track is very difficult.

Such software is generally a waste of money, in my opinion. Most of the software you really need to learn how to count cards is in our tutorial. Software programs are generally expensive and do not help you much. I would recommend any of Stanford Wong’s books for anyone who would like to learn more than there is on this website, particularly Professional Blackjack for advanced players.

No. It is impossible to count cards and win because after each hand the cards are reshuffled. However, some casinos offer games with such favorable conditions that they give you a tiny advantage if you play correct basic strategy.

Yes, this is the only guaranteed “win”, so take it. Almost all casinos offer “comps” (short for complimentary), which include free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets, etc. You should apply for a rating card that will keep track of your playing history, including how much you’ve won or lost, how many hours you’ve played, etc. I know that at the Foxwoods casino, you are given 20% of your average bet. So if your average bet is 30 dollars, you can expect to earn 6 points an hour. You can then use your points to buy meals, etc. Some casinos even offer cash instead of points. You should go to the casino which not only offers the best playing conditions, but also the best comps. Even if you never make a dime counting cards, as long as you don’t lose, you still have something. None of the casinos that are close to me offer cash comps, but I don’t mind. I personally enjoy spending my points. Sometimes I may use my points to purchase items for myself at the shops, or I may buy things to auction on ebay. Either way, comps are a very nice bonus that you should enjoy. Don’t worry if you win tons of money and think that the casinos will get suspicious. Your wins are completely meaningless to them, as thousands of players will have won much, much more than you have, simply due to luck. Additionally, my friend who is a pit boss, reassured me that they never spot card counters by examining their win records.

No, always sit at the lowest table you can find, unless you are betting very big. This way, when the count is negative and you are at a disadvantage, you can bet less and therefore lose less. As for the bad decisions made by other players, don’t worry about them. It has been proven from computer simulations that how other players play has no effect on the game. Yes, it can be frustrating when you lose because someone hits a 15 against a 5, but this move is equally likely to save the table as to screw it. This is an important point. Many people going to casinos are there to enjoy the game, so don’t make nasty comments when they make wrong decisions. They are not stupid, they just do not know better. Always be courteous, no matter what. Besides, in my experience, players at 25-dollar tables make many mistakes in basic strategy too.

Have fun. If you are not enjoying the game, then it is not worth playing. This is true of any other job. I would also recommend that you should not take up blackjack as a sole profession, but rather as a side “job” or hobby. The wild swings you encounter simply do not provide for a stable income. You can read the Casino Max review, Miami Club review , High Country casino review, Cherry Jackpot casino review, or Roaring 21 review to name a few.

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