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Welcome to The GameMaster's Blackjack School c A brief introduction.

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c The GameMaster's Blackjack Schoolc c c c c c c c c this is a series of 24 written lessons that can teach you how to play a winning game of Blackjack. c

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c(c c c c cc c colling Good Times Onlinec) *cc c c"c+&c c c c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c & " c c! c cc c c c c cc c cc c"c c c c c cc%($c"c c" cc) c c*c c c c c c,'-'c. c c c c c c cccc c c c c cc c- c c"cc,cc ccc cc c cc c./012+cHere...we have gathered together the entire curriculum, expanded and refined the lessons and added additional resourcesc

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c c c c , c.c c2 c2 c.' c!4cThe GameMaster's Blackjack School on DVDc

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GameMaster's Blackjack School on DVDc

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Sometimes you just need a place to start.

Blackjack is a game of skill and this is where you can learn the skills it takes to beat the game.c

The 24 lessons you see here will take you step-by-step through the process of learning how to play each hand properly, how to count cards, how and when to properly bet and literally hundreds of other "tricks of the trade".c !c c c c " c c c c c c c c c c !'c c c c c c c c c c"c c cc cc c c c c,'-'c) c cc"'-'cc conline casinoc c c c ' cc c cc 'ccc c cc c c cc5 ccccc c*c

.c c Lesson 1c c c c c c c c c c c !c c c c c c ,'-'c c c c c c6 cc cThe GameMaster via e-mailc ccc c cc5 c ccc

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esson 1: Basic Strategy c

The foundation of winning at Blackjack is to utilize proper basic strategy in playing the hands.c7 c c c c c c 'c c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c c !c c c c c c c c c c c c c c " c 3c c c 'c c cccc+cc c " ccc cc c$cc ccc c c ccc c c cc 8cc c c "c2 c cc"cc ccccc c cc c c cc c c'cc cc ccc c c c c c cc c ccc"c c 5 c c c c c 6 c c c c c c &&c c c c c c c "'-'c &&c c c c c c" c c c c ccc c c 3cc c'c c cc c c c

The correct basic strategy for a blackjack game depends upon the rules of the casino where you will be playing.c !c cc c cc c 'ccc1 c c8c c5 cc"c ccc c cc & 'ccc9c2c c c c c c c ccc" c c c c 3c8ccc c c c c c c ! c c c " c c c ccBlackjack Strategy Enginec c cc cc "' c/c c c c ccc cc

Here's what that looks like for a fairly common game:c.8c ' c "c cc c c c "cc c c c c cc c c c9&:c

Basic Strategy Matrix : for 6 Decks, S17, DA2, DAS, No surrenderc

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To help you decide on a count to use, visit the series of articles called ounting Systems in the Blackjack Archive of GameMaster Onine and look at the systems which are reviewed there.c9 c cc cc"c 'c c" cc=cCc? c c" c cccc c"cc c c c c c c c"c c & 'c cc=&/c c c c ""cc " c c "c3c c cc =cCc ? c c & ' c c c c"cc.c cc"cc c cc c c cc 'cc c cc cc c " c c c5 c c cc c c" c c cc"c c c 'cc c cc " c c c c ccc cc cc cc9 c. cKc c" c c c" c c " 'c,'"cc,'-'c c cc cc

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This system has a Betting Efficiency of .97% and a ´laying Efficiency of .51%.c!c" c ccc c c c" cBHc,+c cD$Hc7+c cc c"cc c c c c c c c cc c cc c c c c "c c c c- c/Jc c cc c c), c c 3cc cc###*c,cc c cc cc c c c c c c+cc" c c c cc'c c cc c c cccc ') *c c cc c c" c "c c 'c c c "c!c=cCc? c c c c c c +c cD:cc cc " cAC c c c c c c 'c c ) c c "c c c *c c c "c c c c , c c c c cc c c c 'c c cc cc

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This entire lesson that you about to study is very visual. You might want to consider our X X product, to enhance the learning experience.c

The Hi / o counting system assigns a "point" value to each type of card in a deck. !c c cc c c c c c c c=cccc

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Single-Card Countdown

If you feel you know the point values of each card in your system of choice by heart, you may now begin to count down a single deck. .c c cc c c 'c cc) c'c c *c c c c c < c c c c c c c c c 'c c c c c c c 1"c c c "c @c c c

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For now the key is accuracy; keep at this until you can go through a deck three or four times in a row without mistakes.cc cc cc c cc c c c c c c c c c c c c c c " c c c c c5 'c c c c c'c ccc c c c c c cc c c cc c c c cc cc c c c c c c cc ccc c c c cc

At this point you should have the point values of each card memorized and you might be doing some singlecard countdowns of a deck.c c c c ccc" c c/Jc c c cc c c cc c. cc c c c 'c cc cc8 c c c c c'c

This entire lesson that you are studying is very visual. You might want to consider our X X product, to enhance the learning experience.c ´airs Value ´ractice

G c c c cc c c cc c c cc c c c c cc cccc c c c c79 1.c c cThis is one of the real "tricks" of the card-counting business: the ability to count cards in pairs.cc cc c cc c cM cG'c c" cc%$c cc&%c!c"cc "c c c cc=ccc c c c cc=cCc? c c c cc Hand Net ´oint Value c

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The table below illustrates the possible results from varying hours of play at a fairly typical game.c. cc c8 ccc "c c c c c"cc c c):BAHc cc*c c%c c

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c et's talk about this a bit. If you were to play several hundred 'sessions' of 3 hours each, the average win for those sessions would be about $22.50.c)! c c c cc#(c c#:$c"c c ccc c *c, cc c c cccc c8c#%%($3c" c & c c"c c"ccc c#c c c c c# Dc c cc c c c c cc c c c#A:$c c c c c c #A:c c cc c c c c c c "ccNc> c c c c cc' c c "' c c #A$$$c c cc#(c c#:$c"c @c c c c"c c c c"c"c c" "c cccc c c c c8 c ! c c c3ccc c c c c c c c c c c c c c cc ccc c c5 c c c c c c" c c"' c

Now look at the results for 90 hours of play. Most of you will be - at worst - about break-even after that many hours.c9ccc"c c"c#%($$c" c c c c c"c c"c#D(c c c, c cc ccc c c"ccc c cNc, cccc cc c"c ccc c c 'c cc c c cc c c c c c c c$c c c"c c c c c c c c "c c c c c c c" c c c c c"c "c c c c c c c "c c c c c c ! cc c c c cc c c c c" ccccccc c c c c c c &ccccc c 'cc c c cc c"c &c" c ccc= cc c c 'cc cc cc c"c 'cc c c9 c cccc cc c cc ' c c,'-'c! c c c c c cc c'c 3c c"' cc c c "c c c c c c c c ccc cc c c cc

HOMEWO' c c Just try to understand the concept of standard deviation and continue 'calibrating' your eyes by doing deck estimation exercises with six decks.c9 c c c" c c c c"c ccc& 'c c cc c c

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esson 10: The ´roper Mental Attitude c

I always stress the idea of 'expectation' as it applies to casino gaming because understanding the concept will help you stop gambling and hopefully turn you into an investor at the tables.c,c cc c8 c c 'cc c c c c"cc cc ccc ccc ccc8 c c c"c#$c c c7 ccc c ccc#$c c c#$c" c c8 c c c c c c cc c! c " cc c cc" &c c c Hc cc"c cc ccc5 c cc cc 'c c c "c c cc c cc cc cccc c c c" ccc c c cc c cc c c c c .c c c c "c

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Now let's look at this concept from the point of view of a positive expectation situation like card counting at Blackjack.c c cc"c c#%c ccc c cc cc c c%(Hc c8 c c cc#%cOc$%(c ;c#(cc c 6 c c(c cc c 9c cc c:$c c c c cc 8c c 'c&&ccc c c&&c" c:$cOc(c c;c#$$cc c, cc cc cc "c c c cc c c c c B$c c c c c 8 c c B$cOc(c c ;c#%$$c c c!c c cc c 'c c c c cc cc c c cc"c c c c c cc c!c"c c c - c c c c c "' c ) c c "c c c c c c c "c c c - c c "c c cc c *c cc c c cc c cc c c cc,'-'cc c c

c" c c cc c c c c c c c c cc "c c c cccc cc More Hands Mean More Money

If you are the only player at a six-deck game, you can play at a rate of about 200 hands an hour.cc c c c5 ccc c c8 c c%$$cOc(c c;c#A$cc c&&cccc c!c "c c c c c c c c c c c 'c c c c c c c " c c c %$$c c c c c "c cc cc c c c ccc c c c9cc cc c c c'cc c c ccc cc ccc 'c c" c cc c c cc c cccccc cccccc c cc c c cc

But 200 hands an hour is a worthy goal, so continue practicing with your single-deck countdown in an effort to build your speed to a point where you can go through a deck in under 20 seconds. c cc cc c cc c c ccc" c c c cc & & cc "c!ccc c cc c c cc cc%c9c cc c" ccc"c ccG c"cc c cc ccc c c c c c c c"c cc c c# $$c c ccc c3c c 'c c c" c cc&&ccc&&c c cc c> c ccccccc c & & c " cc c !c cc c c c cccc " c c c

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THE GOA OF THE ´OFESSIONA ´AYE IS TO ´UT IN AS MUCH QUAITY ´AYING TIME AS ´OSSIBE; WIN O OSS AMOUNTS AE SECONDAY. BY ´AYING AND BETTING COECTY, THE $$$ WI COME WITH TIME. A Winning Attitude

9 c c c " c c c c ,'-'c c c ' c c c c "c c c c c c c c c c cc"cc ccA proper mental attitude eliminates the highs and lows of the game (thus making it very boring -- at least in my opinion) but it enables you to play a solid , unemotional game.c c ccc c c) ccA(Hc cc*c c- c cc' ccc cc'c cc cc c c c c c"'c ccc:$$c c cc c c c:$$c cc8 c c c c c- c c c'c c c 'c cc 'cc ccc c! c c c c c ccccccc ccc cc cccccc ccc

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HOMEWO' c c Get an old deck of cards and a marker pen.c c c c ccc:& 'c ccc "cC%c cc "'c c c cc cc8c ccC%c cc c c c c c c(c"c c c &c< cc "cc"' c c%$c c c

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This exercise will help speed your ability to compute the true count accurately.c! c c c cc"cc c 'c - c c c 'c c c c C c C%c c AC c ' c c & c c c c c $c " c c c c c c c 9 c c c c 8 c c c c c "c c "c c c cc c cc

esson 11: Evaluating Games c

While almost all Blackjack games are ultimately beatable, the rewards to be gained from marginal situations do not adequately compensate you for your time and risk.c! c c c cccc c c" c cc! cc c c ccc c c ccc cc "c c ' c c cc c cc & cccc cc

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c To determine the casino's edge over you at the beginning of a shoe, just add or subtract the rules variations from the 'base' game listed above. c8cc ccc "c 'ccc cc c c cc" c cc c c c c c cc

, cc&( Hc ! c>' cL%$Hc IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIc 7c c&A Hc c Effect of Deck ´enetration

How far the dealer goes into the deck(s) before shuffling can have a major effect on your winnings. !c c c ccc c ccc cc"c c c"c c c c cc ' ccc c c c !c "c " c c c c c c c c c c " c c c c c cc

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YOU AE WASTING YOU TIME AND MONEY IF YOU ´AY AT A GAME WITH ESS THAN 65% ´ENETATION. Even if a game doesn't offer the best rules, it can still be beaten if good penetration is available. 1"cc c c c c c cc c c " c c c c cc cc c c c c ccc 'c" ccc ccc c c

HOMEWO' c c Calculate the player starting advantage for the following:cc

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esson 12: Casino ´laying Tactics c What Are Casino ´laying Tactics?

It's a sad fact of life that casino personnel, especially floor supervisors and pit bosses do not like card counters playing at their Blackjack games.c !c ' c c c c "c "c "c c ' c c c c c c

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To make money at Blackjack, you must maintain your welcome at the casinos.c, cc c cccc cc"c c2c c c cc cc cc cc cc ccc cc cc c cc c cc"c ' cc c c ""c ccc c c cccc

If you are playing for high stakes, you'll be noticed whether you win O lose; high-stakes players are always noticed.c, cc cc ccc#(c c#:$c cc c c c ""c c"c ccc= c c cccc c c cc c c cc c1"cc c ccc c c c cc c c c c c "c c c c AVOID ´AYING FOM ONE SHIFT TO ANOTHEc Jc c cc c ccc'ccc cc cc"c c c cc c cc

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It's safe to say that utilizing these variations will increase your winnings by 10% in the six-deck game. , c c c - c &"c c c c c ,c c c c c 'c c 'c c "c c c c =c :c c $c c ccc c c c c c c c cc "c " c c c c c c' c c" c c) cN*c c c "c9Dc c%c cc- c c cc (c cc$c c'c6cc c cc&ccc c&cc ccc

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cc8c c c c c c cc c cc

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c c c c c c c c c c c c

esson 14: The Advanced Course - ´art 2 c Basic Strategy Variations: Hit or Stand?

The most common decision any player makes at Blackjack is whether to hit or stand, consequently this will be the most common basic strategy variation and you should learn all the important ones.c!c c ccc c c :c cc c c c c$c6 c c ccc c c c$c cccc c$c c c! c ccc c c c cc cc c.cc c "c c$c c c c c cc c c&&c c c cc c c c c> c c cc 9 c c " c c cc cc c c" c c ccc c "c c$cc c cc cc

!c8c c c c c(c cc c$c!c c "c cc c c c cc cccc cc c c ' c c c! c c cc cc"c c cc c'cc c c c!c c"cc c 3cc c2 c c%c 5 c cc c cc 'c- cc9c c c c 'c'c cc

c ccc$c c:c c ccc cc%cOc%c 5 cc$c c c c cc "c cc "c9 c c c cc 'cc 8c c$c cc c) c *c

c

c cc c c(c c$cc cc 'c'c 4cc

c c c c c c cc(c c$3c cc cc

9 cc c c c c c c c cc c c ccc(c c$c c cc(c c$c c cc

cc @cc c Here are the numbers you'll need to learn.c ! c c c c "c c " c c c " c c " ' c 'c . c c7 c,'-'c" cc c c cc c cc 8& 'cccc c c c9&:c cccc"c c" c cc c c 'c ccc c c" c(c c c! c " c 'c3ccc"c cc c c c c c cc"cc cc c > c "cc$c

)> cc cc, c c c>/0,?+c9&%c cc(c" ccc c cccc- cc 3c "c ccc c c$c c*c

9&%c c:c

> "cc&%c

) cc9 c c cc c c" c&%c c "3c cc c cc&%c c- cc&&&cc ccc"ccc c c *c

9&Ac c c

> "cc:c

c

9&Ac c(c

> "cc&%c

c

9& c c cc

> "cc$c

9&Dc c%c

> "cc%c

9&Bc c c

> "cc(c

9&Bc c(c

> "cc%c

9&Bc c:c

> "ccc

9&c c(c

> "cc:c

c

9&c c:c

> "cc(c

c

c c c c c

c Hard Doublingc Bc c(cc

> "cc:c

Bc c:cc

> "ccAc

c c%cc

> "cc%c

c cAcc

> "cc&c

c cDcc

> "cc:c

$c cc

> "cc&%c

c c9c

> "ccc

c c

HOMEWO' c c 'c cc c c c c c c c"c 'cc c ccc

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c

esson 16: The Advanced Course - ´art 4 c Basic Strategy Variations: To Split or Not To Split

The primary factor to consider when splitting pairs is whether or not your casino of choice allows doubling after splitting (DAS).c c >9.c c c c c c c c " c c c c c c 'c c c c cc c cccc c cBcBc c' cccc cB c c"c c cc c c" c c ccc cc cc c$c!c c cc 'c c c c" cc c cBBc ccc, c"c ccc cc8 c c&(ADHc c"c c)c>9.c c *cc8 c c& BAHc c c. cc8c cc c c c 'c c&ccc c c&ccc"c c!'c cc c c c cc ccc:c cc$c cccBc cc[email protected],c c cc cccBc c c " c c cc c c" cc>9.c c c cc c c"cc cc

As the true count goes up, you'll split more and as it goes down, you'll split less.c /ccc c- c"c c c c cc c c$ c c8ccc cccc c c c ccc cc c c c :c c cc c c ccc c c c c cc c c c c cc "c = c c ccc cc c c c"c'c cc c " c cc c c c c c c c c c c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c " c c c

c c c c "c "c c c c c c 'c c $ c c c :c c c c 'c c c c c cc c c ccc c ccc c -ccc 3cc c c cc ccc c c c, cc c5 c c cc & 'c c c c'ccc

All other splitting situations should be followed to the letter; especially that of splitting 4s against a 5 or 6 (if DAS is allowed).c c c c c c c c c " c c c c c c c ' c cc c cc c c c c c'c c c c c c< c 5 c 'c'cccc c 'c'cc

cc c cNc9 c c c cc " c c c c c cc c cc c c " c "c c c 9 c c 8 c " c c c "c c c c c c c c c '& cc c ccc'c c c c cc c c c 'c c

Basic Strategy Variations: Double after split allowed. AAc c%c

=cc$c c c

c c(c

=cc$c c c

c c:c

=cc&%c c c

::c c%c

=cc&%c c c

BBc c$c

. ccBc

c cDc

.cc:cc

) c c *c c c c ) cc c ccc c c c c c*c

c

esson 17: The Advanced Course - ´art 5 c Basic Strategy Variations: Test Yourself

,c c c c c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c c c c cc c" c c c cc"c c c c ccc ccccc cc& c c c c cc c c cc c c c c cccc cccc

ccc" c cc c c c ccc c c c c c cc c c c ccccc c c " c c c c c c c c c c ' c c 'c c c c c c " c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c cc c " 5 c c

This test just asks you to 'fill in the blanks' with the correct index number from -2 to +10. ´rint as many copies of this as you'd like.cc

> c0c2 cc 7 c= c9%cc 7 c= c9Acc 7 c= c9 c 7 c= c9(c 7 c= c9:cc 7 c= c9Dc 7 c= c9Bc 7 c= c9c 7 c= cBcc 7 c= ccc 7 c= c$cc 7 c= ccc 7 c= c%cc 7 c= cAcc 7 c= c cc 7 c= c(cc 7 c= c:cc 7 c= cDc c c 7 c= c%%cc 7 c= cAAc 7 c= c c 7 c= c((cc 7 c= c::cc 7 c= cDDcc 7 c= cBBc 7 c= cc 7 c= c$$c 7 c= c99c c

Advanced Course ´ractice Matrix %cc Ac c (cc :cc Dc Bc cc =c =c IIc IIcc IIcc =c =cc =cc =c =c IIcc IIcc >c =c =c =cc =c =c IIcc >c >cc =c =cc =c =c =cc =c >c >c >c =c =cc =c >c >c >c >c =c =c =cc IIc >c >c >cc >c .cc .cc =c .c .c IIc IIc IIc .c .c .c .c .c .c IIc IIc .c .c .c =c =c =c IIc IIc =c =c =c IIcc IIc >c >c >c IIc =cc =c >c >c >c >c >c >c >c IIcc >c >cc >c >c >c >c >cc >c IIc IIc IIc IIc .c =c =c =cc IIc .cc .c .c .c =c =c =c .c .cc .c .cc .cc =c =c =c .c .c .c .c .c IIcc IIcc IIc .cc .c .cc .c .c IIcc IIcc IIc .cc .c .c .c .c .c .cc .c 7c 7c 7c 7c 7c 7c =c =c IIc 7c 7c 7c 7c 7cc =c =c =cc =c =cc IIc IIc =c =c =c c =c =c =c IIc IIc .c =c =c =c

9c =c =c =c =c =c IIc .c .c =c =c =c IIc =c =c IIc IIc IIc .c =c =c =c

=c =c IIcc .c .cc 7c

=c =c 7c IIc .c 7c

THIS MATIX ASSUMES DOUBE AFTE S´IT IS ´EMITTED AND ASO ASSUMES THAT YOU DON'T CHOOSE TO S´IT 10s.c

HOMEWO' c .c c c cc c c cc c cc8c c' cc.c cc8c c

esson 18: Advanced Single-Deck Blackjack, ´art 1 c

c c c & c cc c&cc c c c&ccc' c c c ccc cc ccc & 'ccTrue count conversion is difficult to do quickly, large bet spreads (over 4 to 1) are difficult to obtain and it's hard to keep an accurate count at a game which is dealt face-down when you're used to counting where all the cards are face up.c > c c c c c c c c c c c c 'c c c c"c c c cc & 'c c c c c c c c c'c%c cAc c c 1 ccc< c c ccc c cc1 c2"c c2 c" c ccc cc cccc c 'c ###c c c ,'-'c " c c c 8 c c c c c c c c c c c c 0 c . c. cc c cc cc 'c) c "c c$c cc c "cc c cc c c9&:*c cc cc cc c(Hc c cc cc cc c" cc' c- c cLc c cc c ccc c c cccc c & 'c c c cc c cc1 c) cc cc ! c c? *c c "c cc c c c cc c c c c c" c%Hc c ccc ""cc

The key to evaluating good single-deck play is how many cards you'll see before a shuffle.c c cc ccc c:$Hc c ccccc(c cc"c c cc c c "cc cccc c(Hc ccc c c"c- c"cc" c c cc c" c c cc c c c c c c c c c c c cc c c c ccc c %Hc c "c! c c c ,'-'c c cc c c ccc Which Counting System?

I use two different systems for counting cards; the Hi/o for multi-deck play and the 'Hi-Opt 1' system for single deck play.c!cc cA&:c cL3cDBc cc c$cc$ c c&c.ccc c c c c'cc c c 'cc c c ccccc c ccc cc cc cc c - cc c c "c c? c'c" cc c c c c cc cc8c c c ccc5 & 'c c cc c " c" c c cc c cc c8ccc5 c 'c c"c c c c cc c ccc 'c cc c c c c&&c c"c c&&c c

c Lc cc c c c c c c c c c - c c c c c @c c c 5 & 'c c "c c c%c cc c ccc 'c c c"c cc c c c cc c"cc)c c

cc cc cc c*c- c c"c c cc c ccc c c c! c c cc c

c c cc" cc c c c- c ccc & 'cc" ccc - c c c8cc

c c c c c c =&/c c c c c 5 c c c c c c c =C? c c 9c c c c5 cc c "c" c cc=C? c c cc c c "cc c c c c c cc

The most difficult aspect of single-deck play is computing the true count.c c c c"c c " c c cc "c c ccc"c c! c c ccc ccc ccc 'c cc 3c 'cc c ccc cc c c c 'c c c c!cc cc cc cc c5 c cc 'ccc c c c c c "c)c c *c "c c "c c c c c c 9 c c c c c "c c c Dc "c %(c 5 'c" cc c'c c cc c c c c 'c c c c"cc c c c c c c c c8cc ccc & 'cc cc5 & 'c c"c ccc c c cAc c c c c Ac c "c D(c ;c c ! c c c c 8c !c c c c c c (c "c (c !c c c c c$c" c cc c c c c c%(c c@c/ccc'c cc c cc

HOMEWO' c c 2 c c c c " c c =C? c " c c c c c c 'c c c c c cc ccc=&/cc c

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c

esson 19: Advanced Single-Deck Blackjack, ´art 2 c Basic Strategy Variations

Casinos that offer single-deck Blackjack games are very aware that it can easily be beaten by a counter who uses a big bet spread, so trying to play the game with a 1-12 spread like I recommend for 6-deck games will likely get you a one-way ticket out of the casino, pronto.c! c c c c c c cc"' & cc c"c cc(c c cc c" c c'c cc c c'c###ccc c.>cc5 cc"c"c c' c c c cc:& 'cc cccc c c c c cc c cc cc c c

If you know how to count cards, you can use the count to tell you how much to bet on each hand, but you can also use the count to help you play each hand more accurately, too.c c c cc c c c c c c' c c cc'c cccccc c,'-'c c ccc"ccc! c2 c c c&c c c " ccc ccc c c & 'cc " c c cc c c c c c " cc cc

Consequently, you have to sit through a lot more "negative" decks, but the good thing is that a shuffle is never too far away.c 6c c c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c "c , c c "c c c c c c c c c & 'cccc c c c ccc c c c'cc%c cc c(c c c c c cc c c "c c c cc c c ccc c, cc cc c cc c c 'cc c c c c c, c .c c c c " c 'c&%c&Ac c c c9c c c c c & 'c c cc! c2 c c&:c cL:c ccc cB(Hc ccc c ccc c :AHc c c c " c c c c c c c c c c c 'c " c c c c c" c c c cc c c

Some players prefer to learn just the indices for the most common hands, with the idea that they'll get a hand like A, 4 against a 5 less than 100 times in every 100,000 hands of play, but they'll have a 16 against 10 much more often.c c c" 'c,'-'c9'ccc% c c> c. c ccc ccc c!c c Bc c c c c c c c c , c .c c c c "c c

c c c c ' c c cc c cc" 'c cc c cc cc cc c cc cc c c c c 9 c c c c c c c c c c " c &%c c c c c c'c"c"cc cc cc c ccc ' cccc c c c ccc/c ccc cc cc cc c"cc8c" c cc"c cc " c c ccc ccc c c c"c c c###c cc"c c c cc c ccc c cc

c

But I'm of the opinion that if something about this game can be learned, it should be learned. )/'c c' c cc c c c c " c c c c @*c c c 'c c c "c c c c c c c c c c ""c cc c c cc$&

c c cc, cc c c ccccc c& %c cL:cc c- c cc ""c c> c cc c c c cc c c c cc & 'c c c c"c c c ?cc " c c'cc c c c ccc

ather than talk you through each hand's variation, as I did in the multi-deck section, what I've done here is produce a Basic Strategy Matrix that shows an "index" number for each appropriate play.c> c cc cc c "c cc" c c8ccccc" cc Basic Strategy Variations Matrix for Single-Deck

=Dc>%c c c c c

Dealer's up card

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Ace

A,A

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

2,2

Hit

0

-1

-4

-5

Split

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

3,3

Hit

4

-1

-4

-5

Split

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

4,4 (Double)

Hit

Hit

5

0

0

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

5,5 (treat as 10)

Double

Double

Double

Double

Double

-6

-3

0

4

3

6,6

0

-1

-4

-6

Split

[email protected]>ccc c cc5 'c " c c c c c c

c cc c! c " c ccc c cc" c c cccc c c c c! cc5 'ccc>>cc cc c c' c c" cc5 c c ' c c c cc! c2 c c c c c"c cc c c ccc"c ccc'c cc c

c

The 'ey: ´enetration

Because a DD game uses only 104 cards, versus the 312 of a 6D game, just a few extra cards of penetration can make a big difference in how well you can do at the game. c c ,'-'c . c c c c c c c c ccc cccc:& 'ccc cc:(Hc cc cc c" cc cIn a DD situation, 65% penetration is very acceptable, 75% is fantastic and 80% or more is phenomenal.cc c c 'c c c ccc ($Hcc6cc c c c ' c cc c c c cNc cc c cc c

But penetration is really important, so it's something you need to become familiar with.c c cc c >>cc c c c c 9&:c c c "c c c c c c "c c c c c c c c &Bc "c c ) c 8c c c *c c c c c c ($Hc c c c c &c c c c "c c c c c c . c ,'-'c 9c c "c " c $: Hc c c c c c :$Hc c c c c c c$(Hc ccD(Hc c c DHc! c c" c c' cc

et's recap thisc cc cc 4c

Impact of ´enetration on a Double-Deck Game

7c7 cc ! c7c+ c ($Hc

$: Hc

:$Hc

$(Hc

::Hcc

Hc

D(Hcc

DHc

c 9c'c c ccc c c ccc"ccc! c2 c c c&c c cccc "c!cc "cc c c cc:& 'c c c c c c c cc>>c cTherefore, you have to pretty well accept the fact that you'll be playing in all counts, which makes the penetration factor even more important.ccc c c c c c c " c c c c c c ,c c c c c c "c c c c c,'-'cc cc c c! cc c ccc cc 3c c" c c c cccc"c" c c$Hc c c c ccc

c

c

c

Getting Started

c c c c c >>c c c c c c c c c c " cc ccc c c c c c:>c ccc c c c 4c c c c cc>>c cc c c cc5 c c c cc ccc ccc %c , ccc"c c ccc"ccc c c c c cc cc, c.c cc Ac c>>c c5 cc c cc cDc) c c c cc c c *c ccc c , c.c c c6 ccccc"'-' cc c c c"c cc c c c c c'c c cc c cc cc cc "c Fcc cc cc

. c c c c 'c c c c c"c"'c8ccccc c c c"cc ccc

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c

esson 22: Beating The Double Deck Game - ´art 2 c

cPart 1 (lesson 21)c c c c cccc'c cc c c c c c c cc c

more than 50% into the decks before shufflingc9 c cc'ccc###ccccc c c

'c c c c c c " c c c c c c c c c c c . c c c "c c c"c cc"c"c c)'c#(&#:$c c c#(&# $c c8*c" c c cc c c c

A bigger (or wider, if you prefer) bet spread - the ratio between your minimum and maximum bets - creates its own set of problems that you have to consider.c c ccc>>c ccc c" c c cc c ccc#$c"c cc&%c cc5 c c c'cc#%$c c"c!cc5 cccc "' cc ccc#A$$$c c c ccc,'-'c. c c cc#(c c"c 8&

'cc!c c c ""cc" c "c ccc cc c!c' cc cc "c "c "c c c c c "c "c c c c 'c c c c c c c c c c c c c c#$&#%$c c c c cc ccc- c c c c c c c & c"c =c c cc cc 3c c' c" c c cc c c cc c"c c

But, surprisingly, there isn't that much to gain in overall advantage by going from a 1-8 spread to a 1-12 spread in our "core" game,c c c %c ' c c c c 9&:c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c +c c c c c c c c :$c c c c $ c c c )(DHc *cc&Bc"c cc c c"c c ccc! c2 c)!2*c cc c c c cc%c c c cAc 8c cc c cc ccc!2c c(c c cc cc cc"c c c c$(BHc(See Part 1 for how this is calculated.)c9c&%c ccc!2c c c c c"cBc cc cc(c cc c c:c c c cc c c c c c "c c c $BHc That tiny extra edge is hardly worth the cost of the added risk of ruin and the extra scrutiny you'll get from the "pit critters" while using it.cc

!c c cc cc c 4cThe penetration is just so shallow that you'll seldom be making a 10- or 12unit bet, but you need them to make up for all the minimum bets you'll be making at counts where the casino has the edge over you.cc ccc cc5 cc"ccc 8& 'c c"ccc"ccc!2c

c c&c c c" c c c c ccc c c "c c c "& 'cc c cc c cc ccc cc c c c c. c c cc c" c c5 'c c c c "c c c c c !2c c c c" ccc c " c " c c ccc c c c c c c c c cc cc c'c cc c cc"cc c c cccc c c c cccccc 'c c c###ccc c ccc

c

c

Betting With the True Count

For each increase of 1 in the true count as figured by the Hi/o counting method, the player's advantage increases by about .5% in the average Blackjack game.c cc c cc c cc" c cc c Hc )%c ' c "c c c c c c "c c c c c c c 9&:c c c c c "*cc' cc! c2 c)!2*c c- c" ccc c ccccc c,cc ccc c c c c" c ccc c c c Cc c&ccc c c&ccc! c2 c c c9c!2c c%c cc cc c c(Hc cc 3cc!2cAc cccc c cHc c c c! cc c " c" c" cc!2c c" c% c)c ccc c c'cc c"*cc c

"& 'ccc c cc c ccc!2c c c ccc cc$(Hc

It is the edge that a player has on the upcoming hand that determines their bet.c2 c"c cc c c ccc cc c c" ccccccc c cc c ccc c,c"c c cc cc c cc c) ccJc2 *ccc8cc c9c c c c ccJc2 c"c ccc c"c cc c c cc c!c 'ccc cccHc c c c"cHc c c"' c cc c cccc c c c "c cc cc c ccc c cccc cc 'c cc cc c c ccc c'c c c" cc c"c cD:Hc cc c cHere's a table of optimum bets that will work well for a game where the casino has a 0.41% advantage over the Basic Strategy player:c

True Countc Advantage c

% Optimum Betc

&c c cc &c$Hc c c $Hc $cc

&$ Hcc

$Hc

cc

$$H8cD:Hc

$$DHc

%c

$(Hc8cD:Hcc

$ (Hc

Acc

$Hc8cD:Hcc

$BAHc

cc

(Hc8cD:Hcc

%Hc

(cc

%$Hc8cD:Hcc

(Hc

:cc

%(Hc8cD:Hcc

DHc

Dcc

A$Hc8cD:Hcc

%A(Hcc

Bcc

A(Hc8cD:Hcc

%DAHc

cc

$c8cD:Hc

A$Hc

$cc

(c8cD:Hc

A Hc

c By using this table, you can determine the optimal bet for any bankroll;c- c cc ccc c c"c c c cc"' c! c cc"' c c$5000cc c"c cc c c c2 is .0045 X $5000 = $22.50cc

Some ´ractical Considerations

c c cc cc c"cc c c cc#c cc"c

c c"c c c. cc c c c c "c c c c #(c c #$c c c c 'c 'c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c 'c c c c "c c c c c "c c c c c "c c cc c"c c cc"' c c c c ccc- c c "c cc cc c c c c c c %c c c c c c c c 'c c c c " c c c c c c c All of this rounding and negative-deck play cuts into your win rate, but by knowing the conditions that can cost you money, steps can be taken to minimize their impact on your earnings.c The Betting Spread

The most effective 1-8 betting spread would be to bet one unit whenever the casino has the edge and 8 units when the counter has the edge. !c c c c c " c c c cc c c c c c' c c c c c " cc c c c cc 'c 'c c c c9c c "c "c cc c"c'c c8 c"cc c ccc c c c$$Hc. cc c c c cc c cc c c c c c ccc c 'cc cc c cc c c"cc c &c c c"' c, cc cccccc) c c' c c cc+ c*c cc c'c c c"' c c c"cc- c($c c c8 c"c9c"' c c%$$&A$$c8c " c c"c c ccc cc

A more practical answer to both of the problems presented above is to "ramp" your bets, which is another way of saying gradually increase them. c c c "c c #$c c c &Bc c c 'c c c "c #B$c c c ccc c c> c cc c'c cc c c"c cc"cc ccc! c 2 c ccc cc c c- cc c c c"' c c"c? c c c c c"c#B$c cc!2c c(c c c!c c"c cc c c(Hc c c c"' c cc c c#B$c"c$$(c c c#($Ac cc c"' c< c"c c c "c 'c c#B$c "c cc c " c c c c"c c cc"c cccc c" c#($$$c cc c "c c cc c cc

G cc5 'c c4c!c#($$$c cc c c c c"cc c c c c c" c c cc ccc c ccc cc c c c cc c"' c c%$c c" c c#:$$c c c" ccc"ccccc c c cc'c" cccc

c

c

c

With a $5000 bankroll, the betting schedule could look like this:c

True Count c ´layer's Bet c Optimum Betc $c c cc

#$c

#$c

cc

#$cc

#A($c

%cc

#%(c

#%%($c

Acc

# $cc

# ($c

cc

#:$cc

#:$($c

(cc

#B$c

#D($c

:cc

#B$cc

#B($c

Dcc

#B$c

#D($c

Bcc

#B$cc

#A:($c

cc

#B$cc

#(($$c

$cc

#B$cc

#D ($c

c ´lease notice that "Optimum Bet" means the best bet for that count, were you able to make it. , c c c "c c c c#B$c c

c cccc c c(c c c, cc c"c cccccc "cc#($$$c"' c cc " c 4c #$$c c c!2c c :c c c c c c cc c c c "' c c"c"ccc#:$$c c cc The Bet Schedule Examined

First of all, I hate this schedule for a lot of reasons.c !cc c cc c c c c c cc c )72 *c c ' c c c c "c c c c "c c "& 'c c c &Bc 9 c c c c c c c c c c c c "c c #$c c cc "c R@c#B$Ncc

c c c B$c c c[email protected]+cc' c72c' cc> c ccc'c c cc cc c c c'c c c cc cc cc c c c c c c B: c c c >>c c " c c"c#%(ccc c c#%$$ccc8 3cBc cccc "c cc>>ccc c cc c c ccc

The other reason I hate this betting schedule is, it's "clunky".c ,c c c c c 5 c c c c "c c c c"c c c c cc c! c c c c#$c c#%(cc ccc ccc c#$c"c c ccc "ccc, ccc c c# $cc cc c c cccc c c ' c c 'c 'c c "c cc c cc c- c c c c c)#($*c9cc # $c c c c#:$c c c c" c " c c c ($Hc cc c cc c c cc c c c c c c c cc Cc c c cc c c, cc cc c"c'cc c cc c cc cc c'c c"c cc c c c cc ccc c C ccc c

"'c c c"cc ccc cccc c cc c" cc c2 'Nc7 c c"c c" ccc c c c cc c ccc c c c c cYou don't need that. But what's the alternative? et's look at some possibilities.cc The Betting Schedule Simulated

To test this betting schedule and to find some alternatives to it, I ran a series of simulations on Statistical Blackjack Analyzer (SBA) using the rules of our "core" game: 2 decks, double on any first two cards, double after splitting pairs, dealer hits on A-6 and surrender is not available. What got changed from simulation to simulation will be shown in the explanation for each.cc c Simulation #1

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esults: Initial Bet Advantage: 0.59% SCOE: 13.31 Estim. ´ayoff per 100,000 rounds played is $10,325.65, with an estimated standard deviation of $8950.40. Average st. dev. per round: $28.30 Av. std. per round per unit: 1.13153 Average bet per round: $17.42 Comments on Simulation #1c&cThis will serve as our "baseline" game and it's easy to see you'd really be wasting your time at it. The primary reason is the shallow penetration, just as I showed you in ´art 1.c !c .2/1+c c c c cS ÷÷"÷C # cOOc $ ÷E% cc c c"c

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c! c "c c c c c c c5 ccc ccc c"c"ccc c c cccc c c 4cc c cc$$$$$c c c cc)c$$c cc c c $$$c c cN*c c8 c c cc c#$$$$c= cc#$$$$c cccc c c c cc c c ccc c cc cc c8 cc c c cc cc c c c c c c c c "c c c c #$$$$c c #B($c c #$($Nc ! c " c c " 'c c c

. c c "cc 'c)" c cc c ($c *c c c cc $$$$$c c c c c c c c c c#($$$c"' c cc c c c8c c cc c cc cc c9 c c cccc c c c c c c &"c c c c c c "c c Some people use stats like this to justify their idea, "It's all luck, not skill" and they couldn't be more wrong. , c ccc ccc c c c c" cc c cc c c!c> 'c c 4cc" c c7c7 c c'c" c 'c c ccc c Simulation #2

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esults: Initial Bet Advantage: 0.92% SCOE: 30.51 Estim. ´ayoff per 100,000 rounds played is $16,048.10, with an estimated standard deviation of $9187.70. Average st. dev. per round: $29.05 Av. std. per round per unit: 1.13153 Average bet per round: $17.42 Comments on Simulation #2 - You can quickly see that the average bet remains the same, but the potential profit has increased by nearly 60% and that's due to making better plays with the cards you're dealt.c c c c cc c c8c ccc"c cc ccc c, c.c c"c- cc c " c c cc c'c cccc 8& 'cccc cBccc c cc###c c c cc c c ccc" c cc c cc c & c c c cc%c c c

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In this one, I want to "de-clunk" the original betting schedule presented above by making it less precise and by using as few $5 chips as possible. ccc c c c cc c c #$c"c " c cc'c c5 'cc"c#%(ccc c cc c c c#B$c c cc c c cc c "c cc c c"cc 4c#$c c, cccccc& ccc c"c"c#($ccAc #D(cc c c c c c"c#B$c c#$$cc(@c! cc5 cc"c"' cc cc"c c

#$ccc!2c c(c" c#:$$$cc c cc cc c c"cc c cccc cc(c c c c c c c c c c c ' c c c c "c #$$c c c c c c c c c" ccc c c cc cc cccc#$$cc c cc"cc c" ccc"Nc /c c' c c cc" c'ccc c c'ccc cc8cc c c9 c c c c c c c cc c c c" c cc c cc c c & c c cc c c c c c

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esults: Initial Bet Advantage: 1.02% SCOE: 35.33 Estim. ´ayoff per 100,000 rounds played is $19,845.70, with an estimated standard deviation of $10,557.60. Average st. dev. per round: $33.39 Av. std. per round per unit: 1.15907 Average bet per round: $19.40 Comments on Simulation #3c&c =c c " NcWe've just about doubled the estimated profit and it would take a two standard deviation event to put us at a loss, but even then it would be only (!!) $2000 or so.c c " cc c c c"c"c

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esults: Initial Bet Advantage: 1.40% SCOE: 67.41 Estim. ´ayoff per 100,000 rounds played is $29,929.60, with an estimated standard deviation of $11,527.45. Average st. dev. per round: $36.45 Av. std. per round per unit: 1.1583 Average bet per round: $21.43 Comments on Simulation #4c&cWow! This puppy makes you want to run out and find a game, doesn't it? , c c c c c cc c c c"cc c c c'c c c cc$$$$$c c" c c"c c cc"c5 cc"c= c @cc.,9ccc cc" cc' c'c cc c cc c "c! c c c$ :AD:c c cc c %% :ccc c c ! c- c " c (Hc cccc cc"c "c. cc'c'c cc c c ccc$$$$$c c cc cc cc c#(cc c cc c c"cccc c c c cc c"cc cc"c c cc, c c c c ccc@cc

You actually make more per hour under the conditions of Simulation #3 because you're "on the green" almost all the time but you make more per hand played when you use the tactics of Simulation #4.c?'c cc c ccc c cc c c c' cc c

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esson 23: Beating The Double Deck Game - ´art 3 c Double Deck Basic Strategy Variations

Beating the double-deck Blackjack game requires that you first find a game that offers decent penetration and a minimum bet that will allow you to spread your bets from 1 to 8,cc c cc "c cc c" c c c c"' c9 c c c c5 c c c 'c c ccc c c c c c cc cc

If you know how to count cards, you can use the count to tell you how much to bet on each hand, but you can use the count to help you play each hand more accurately, too.c c c c c c c c c c c ' c c cc'c cccccc c,'-'c c ccc"ccc! c2 c c c&c c c" ccc cccc c "& 'c c" cc c c cc c" c c c c c cc 8& 'cc

Consequently, you have to sit through a lot more "negative" decks, but the good thing is that a shuffle is never too far away.c 6c c c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c c c c cc c cc c c c "c, c c'c"c c cc cc cc c "& 'cccc c c c ccc c c c'cc%c cc c(c c c c c cc c c "c c c cc c c ccc c, cc cc c cc c c'cc cc c cc, c.c c c c " c'c&%c&Ac c c c A realistic range for most double-deck games is a True Count of -6 to +6 and that will cover 85% of all the hands you'll ever play, assuming 50-60% penetration. c

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, c c cc ccc c" c ccc"c cc c"c c)/'c c' c ccc c c c " c c c c @*c If double-deck games will be where you'll spend most of your time, then it's probably worth the effort to memorize all the indices presented here. , cc c c ccccc c &%c cL:cc c- c cc ""c c> c cc c c c cc c c c cc

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It's a lot easier to use this matrix if you've memorized the Basic Strategy for this game and if you haven't yet done that, you really should learn it before you get into this advanced mode of play.c c c c c c

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!cc c c cc, c.cF c8c c 4cIf the number in a slot is 0 or a minus, then that play is a Basic Strategy move that you should make as long as the count is higher than the number shown.c c8cc9 c c c cc "c c c cc c c$c cc cc c c c- cc c c c cc c c c "c c c cc c c&Ac cc)"cc&c ccc&%*cc

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c "c You hopefully know that proper Basic Strategy tells us to never take insurance (even when you have a 'natural' and the dealer's up card is an Ace, in spite of what everybody else tells you)c" ccc & 'ccc c "c" c "ccc! c2 c c%c) c% cc cccc c c *c cc

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Once you've chosen the Basic Strategy variations you want to learn, you should make a set of flash cards for them.c +8c c c c c c 8 c c ? c c c !c c ,'-'c . c c c c & c c c 'c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c " c c c cc & 'c,'-'c c ccc

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ccc"cc c c cc9c2cc cc c"cc!c c cc c cccc)1 c *c c c cc,'-'cccc cc " c"cc2 c 2 c 2 c and that included a weird rule called 'surrender'. At least we thought it was weird until we figured out what a huge advantage it gave to the player who used it correctly!cc

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These days, the most common form of surrender is the 'late' version where the dealer checks for a natural and, if s/he doesn't have it, then you may surrender.c! c c cc c c ccc c ccc c Cc ' c c"c" c cc c , cc c cc c cc c "c c c c c cc c cc c

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If you count cards, the surrender option is an even better deal as the count goes up.c c c c c cc c c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c $ c c c ) c 9 *c c c c ') *c cc c c cc cc

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Blackjack is a game of skill and this is where you can learn the skills it takes to beat the game.c

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The foundation of winning at Blackjack is to utilize proper basic strategy in playing the hands.c7 c c c c c c 'c c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c c !c c c c c c c c c c c c c c " c 3c c c 'c c cccc+cc c " ccc cc c$cc ccc c c ccc c c cc 8cc c c "c2 c cc"cc ccccc c cc c c cc c c'cc cc ccc c c c c c cc c ccc"c c 5 c c c c c 6 c c c c c c &&c c c c c c c "'-'c &&c c c c c c" c c c c ccc c c 3cc c'c c cc c c c

The correct basic strategy for a blackjack game depends upon the rules of the casino where you will be playing.c !c cc c cc c 'ccc1 c c8c c5 cc"c ccc c cc & 'ccc9c2c c c c c c c ccc" c c c c 3c8ccc c c c c c c ! c c c " c c c ccBlackjack Strategy Enginec c cc cc "' c/c c c c ccc cc

Here's what that looks like for a fairly common game:c.8c ' c "c cc c c c "cc c c c c cc c c c9&:c

Basic Strategy Matrix : for 6 Decks, S17, DA2, DAS, No surrenderc

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To help you decide on a count to use, visit the series of articles called ounting Systems in the Blackjack Archive of GameMaster Onine and look at the systems which are reviewed there.c9 c cc cc"c 'c c" cc=cCc? c c" c cccc c"cc c c c c c c c"c c & 'c cc=&/c c c c ""cc " c c "c3c c cc =cCc ? c c & ' c c c c"cc.c cc"cc c cc c c cc 'cc c cc cc c " c c c5 c c cc c c" c c cc"c c c 'cc c cc " c c c c ccc cc cc cc9 c. cKc c" c c c" c c " 'c,'"cc,'-'c c cc cc

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This system has a Betting Efficiency of .97% and a ´laying Efficiency of .51%.c!c" c ccc c c c" cBHc,+c cD$Hc7+c cc c"cc c c c c c c c cc c cc c c c c "c c c c- c/Jc c cc c c), c c 3cc cc###*c,cc c cc cc c c c c c c+cc" c c c cc'c c cc c c cccc ') *c c cc c c" c "c c 'c c c "c!c=cCc? c c c c c c +c cD:cc cc " cAC c c c c c c 'c c ) c c "c c c *c c c "c c c c , c c c c cc c c c 'c c cc cc

HOMEWO' c 2 c 'cc cflashcardscc cc& cc c

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This entire lesson that you about to study is very visual. You might want to consider our X X product, to enhance the learning experience.c

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This is the only exercise you will ever need to learn the point values of your counting system.c cc c c c c c c c cc & 'cc c"'cc cc c c c c & 'c cG c'cc 'c c c c"c cc c c c cc ccc c c c c c c c c c c & c c

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Single-Card Countdown

If you feel you know the point values of each card in your system of choice by heart, you may now begin to count down a single deck. .c c cc c c 'c cc) c'c c *c c c c c < c c c c c c c c c 'c c c c c c c 1"c c c "c @c c c

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For now the key is accuracy; keep at this until you can go through a deck three or four times in a row without mistakes.cc cc cc c cc c c c c c c c c c c c c c c " c c c c c5 'c c c c c'c ccc c c c c c cc c c cc c c c cc cc c c c c c c cc ccc c c c cc

At this point you should have the point values of each card memorized and you might be doing some singlecard countdowns of a deck.c c c c ccc" c c/Jc c c cc c c cc c. cc c c c 'c cc cc8 c c c c c'c

This entire lesson that you are studying is very visual. You might want to consider our X X product, to enhance the learning experience.c ´airs Value ´ractice

G c c c cc c c cc c c cc c c c c cc cccc c c c c79 1.c c cThis is one of the real "tricks" of the card-counting business: the ability to count cards in pairs.cc cc c cc c cM cG'c c" cc%$c cc&%c!c"cc "c c c cc=ccc c c c cc=cCc? c c c cc Hand Net ´oint Value c

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The table below illustrates the possible results from varying hours of play at a fairly typical game.c. cc c8 ccc "c c c c c"cc c c):BAHc cc*c c%c c

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c et's talk about this a bit. If you were to play several hundred 'sessions' of 3 hours each, the average win for those sessions would be about $22.50.c)! c c c cc#(c c#:$c"c c ccc c *c, cc c c cccc c8c#%%($3c" c & c c"c c"ccc c#c c c c c# Dc c cc c c c c cc c c c#A:$c c c c c c #A:c c cc c c c c c c "ccNc> c c c c cc' c c "' c c #A$$$c c cc#(c c#:$c"c @c c c c"c c c c"c"c c" "c cccc c c c c8 c ! c c c3ccc c c c c c c c c c c c c c cc ccc c c5 c c c c c c" c c"' c

Now look at the results for 90 hours of play. Most of you will be - at worst - about break-even after that many hours.c9ccc"c c"c#%($$c" c c c c c"c c"c#D(c c c, c cc ccc c c"ccc c cNc, cccc cc c"c ccc c c 'c cc c c cc c c c c c c c$c c c"c c c c c c c c "c c c c c c c" c c c c c"c "c c c c c c c "c c c c c c ! cc c c c cc c c c c" ccccccc c c c c c c &ccccc c 'cc c c cc c"c &c" c ccc= cc c c 'cc cc cc c"c 'cc c c9 c cccc cc c cc ' c c,'-'c! c c c c c cc c'c 3c c"' cc c c "c c c c c c c c ccc cc c c cc

HOMEWO' c c Just try to understand the concept of standard deviation and continue 'calibrating' your eyes by doing deck estimation exercises with six decks.c9 c c c" c c c c"c ccc& 'c c cc c c

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esson 10: The ´roper Mental Attitude c

I always stress the idea of 'expectation' as it applies to casino gaming because understanding the concept will help you stop gambling and hopefully turn you into an investor at the tables.c,c cc c8 c c 'cc c c c c"cc cc ccc ccc ccc8 c c c"c#$c c c7 ccc c ccc#$c c c#$c" c c8 c c c c c c cc c! c " cc c cc" &c c c Hc cc"c cc ccc5 c cc cc 'c c c "c c cc c cc cc cccc c c c" ccc c c cc c cc c c c c .c c c c "c

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Now let's look at this concept from the point of view of a positive expectation situation like card counting at Blackjack.c c cc"c c#%c ccc c cc cc c c%(Hc c8 c c cc#%cOc$%(c ;c#(cc c 6 c c(c cc c 9c cc c:$c c c c cc 8c c 'c&&ccc c c&&c" c:$cOc(c c;c#$$cc c, cc cc cc "c c c cc c c c c B$c c c c c 8 c c B$cOc(c c ;c#%$$c c c!c c cc c 'c c c c cc cc c c cc"c c c c c cc c!c"c c c - c c c c c "' c ) c c "c c c c c c c "c c c - c c "c c cc c *c cc c c cc c cc c c cc,'-'cc c c

c" c c cc c c c c c c c c cc "c c c cccc cc More Hands Mean More Money

If you are the only player at a six-deck game, you can play at a rate of about 200 hands an hour.cc c c c5 ccc c c8 c c%$$cOc(c c;c#A$cc c&&cccc c!c "c c c c c c c c c c c 'c c c c c c c " c c c %$$c c c c c "c cc cc c c c ccc c c c9cc cc c c c'cc c c ccc cc ccc 'c c" c cc c c cc c cccccc cccccc c cc c c cc

But 200 hands an hour is a worthy goal, so continue practicing with your single-deck countdown in an effort to build your speed to a point where you can go through a deck in under 20 seconds. c cc cc c cc c c ccc" c c c cc & & cc "c!ccc c cc c c cc cc%c9c cc c" ccc"c ccG c"cc c cc ccc c c c c c c c"c cc c c# $$c c ccc c3c c 'c c c" c cc&&ccc&&c c cc c> c ccccccc c & & c " cc c !c cc c c c cccc " c c c

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THE GOA OF THE ´OFESSIONA ´AYE IS TO ´UT IN AS MUCH QUAITY ´AYING TIME AS ´OSSIBE; WIN O OSS AMOUNTS AE SECONDAY. BY ´AYING AND BETTING COECTY, THE $$$ WI COME WITH TIME. A Winning Attitude

9 c c c " c c c c ,'-'c c c ' c c c c "c c c c c c c c c c cc"cc ccA proper mental attitude eliminates the highs and lows of the game (thus making it very boring -- at least in my opinion) but it enables you to play a solid , unemotional game.c c ccc c c) ccA(Hc cc*c c- c cc' ccc cc'c cc cc c c c c c"'c ccc:$$c c cc c c c:$$c cc8 c c c c c- c c c'c c c 'c cc 'cc ccc c! c c c c c ccccccc ccc cc cccccc ccc

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HOMEWO' c c Get an old deck of cards and a marker pen.c c c c ccc:& 'c ccc "cC%c cc "'c c c cc cc8c ccC%c cc c c c c c c(c"c c c &c< cc "cc"' c c%$c c c

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This exercise will help speed your ability to compute the true count accurately.c! c c c cc"cc c 'c - c c c 'c c c c C c C%c c AC c ' c c & c c c c c $c " c c c c c c c 9 c c c c 8 c c c c c "c c "c c c cc c cc

esson 11: Evaluating Games c

While almost all Blackjack games are ultimately beatable, the rewards to be gained from marginal situations do not adequately compensate you for your time and risk.c! c c c cccc c c" c cc! cc c c ccc c c ccc cc "c c ' c c cc c cc & cccc cc

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c To determine the casino's edge over you at the beginning of a shoe, just add or subtract the rules variations from the 'base' game listed above. c8cc ccc "c 'ccc cc c c cc" c cc c c c c c cc

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How far the dealer goes into the deck(s) before shuffling can have a major effect on your winnings. !c c c ccc c ccc cc"c c c"c c c c cc ' ccc c c c !c "c " c c c c c c c c c c " c c c c c cc

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YOU AE WASTING YOU TIME AND MONEY IF YOU ´AY AT A GAME WITH ESS THAN 65% ´ENETATION. Even if a game doesn't offer the best rules, it can still be beaten if good penetration is available. 1"cc c c c c c cc c c " c c c c cc cc c c c c ccc 'c" ccc ccc c c

HOMEWO' c c Calculate the player starting advantage for the following:cc

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esson 12: Casino ´laying Tactics c What Are Casino ´laying Tactics?

It's a sad fact of life that casino personnel, especially floor supervisors and pit bosses do not like card counters playing at their Blackjack games.c !c ' c c c c "c "c "c c ' c c c c c c

cc c cc c ccc c c c c c c"cc ccc c c c)*c c c"c ccc2 5 cc ' cc c c c cc" c cc c- c c cccccc7 c cc cc c c c ' c c c c c c ccc A Casino '´rofile' of a Counter

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To make money at Blackjack, you must maintain your welcome at the casinos.c, cc c cccc cc"c c2c c c cc cc cc cc cc ccc cc cc c cc c cc"c ' cc c c ""c ccc c c cccc

If you are playing for high stakes, you'll be noticed whether you win O lose; high-stakes players are always noticed.c, cc cc ccc#(c c#:$c cc c c c ""c c"c ccc= c c cccc c c cc c c cc c1"cc c ccc c c c cc c c c c c "c c c c AVOID ´AYING FOM ONE SHIFT TO ANOTHEc Jc c cc c ccc'ccc cc cc"c c c cc c cc

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cc'c c'cc " c c cc 'c cc c> c c c- cccc *c ccc cc cc !c c ccc"cc c"cc1"c c c'c" c c c c"3c" c- c c c cc c c" c c c c cc,'-'cc c8c"c cc c cc c c cc c"cc"cc c c" cc cc c c c c c'cc c" c c c c c cc " c "c) c c "*c c8cc c c C c c c c c cc The Value of Basic Strategy Variations

It's safe to say that utilizing these variations will increase your winnings by 10% in the six-deck game. , c c c - c &"c c c c c ,c c c c c 'c c 'c c "c c c c =c :c c $c c ccc c c c c c c c cc "c " c c c c c c' c c" c c) cN*c c c "c9Dc c%c cc- c c cc (c cc$c c'c6cc c cc&ccc c&cc ccc

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esson 14: The Advanced Course - ´art 2 c Basic Strategy Variations: Hit or Stand?

The most common decision any player makes at Blackjack is whether to hit or stand, consequently this will be the most common basic strategy variation and you should learn all the important ones.c!c c ccc c c :c cc c c c c$c6 c c ccc c c c$c cccc c$c c c! c ccc c c c cc cc c.cc c "c c$c c c c c cc c c&&c c c cc c c c c> c c cc 9 c c " c c cc cc c c" c c ccc c "c c$cc c cc cc

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c c

HOMEWO' c c 'c cc c c c c c c c"c 'cc c ccc

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c

esson 16: The Advanced Course - ´art 4 c Basic Strategy Variations: To Split or Not To Split

The primary factor to consider when splitting pairs is whether or not your casino of choice allows doubling after splitting (DAS).c c >9.c c c c c c c c " c c c c c c 'c c c c cc c cccc c cBcBc c' cccc cB c c"c c cc c c" c c ccc cc cc c$c!c c cc 'c c c c" cc c cBBc ccc, c"c ccc cc8 c c&(ADHc c"c c)c>9.c c *cc8 c c& BAHc c c. cc8c cc c c c 'c c&ccc c c&ccc"c c!'c cc c c c cc ccc:c cc$c cccBc cc[email protected],c c cc cccBc c c " c c cc c c" cc>9.c c c cc c c"cc cc

As the true count goes up, you'll split more and as it goes down, you'll split less.c /ccc c- c"c c c c cc c c$ c c8ccc cccc c c c ccc cc c c c :c c cc c c ccc c c c c cc c c c c cc "c = c c ccc cc c c c"c'c cc c " c cc c c c c c c c c c c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c " c c c

c c c c "c "c c c c c c 'c c $ c c c :c c c c 'c c c c c cc c c ccc c ccc c -ccc 3cc c c cc ccc c c c, cc c5 c c cc & 'c c c c'ccc

All other splitting situations should be followed to the letter; especially that of splitting 4s against a 5 or 6 (if DAS is allowed).c c c c c c c c c " c c c c c c c ' c cc c cc c c c c c'c c c c c c< c 5 c 'c'cccc c 'c'cc

cc c cNc9 c c c cc " c c c c c cc c cc c c " c "c c c 9 c c 8 c " c c c "c c c c c c c c c '& cc c ccc'c c c c cc c c c 'c c

Basic Strategy Variations: Double after split allowed. AAc c%c

=cc$c c c

c c(c

=cc$c c c

c c:c

=cc&%c c c

::c c%c

=cc&%c c c

BBc c$c

. ccBc

c cDc

.cc:cc

) c c *c c c c ) cc c ccc c c c c c*c

c

esson 17: The Advanced Course - ´art 5 c Basic Strategy Variations: Test Yourself

,c c c c c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c c c c cc c" c c c cc"c c c c ccc ccccc cc& c c c c cc c c cc c c c c cccc cccc

ccc" c cc c c c ccc c c c c c cc c c c ccccc c c " c c c c c c c c c c ' c c 'c c c c c c " c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c cc c " 5 c c

This test just asks you to 'fill in the blanks' with the correct index number from -2 to +10. ´rint as many copies of this as you'd like.cc

> c0c2 cc 7 c= c9%cc 7 c= c9Acc 7 c= c9 c 7 c= c9(c 7 c= c9:cc 7 c= c9Dc 7 c= c9Bc 7 c= c9c 7 c= cBcc 7 c= ccc 7 c= c$cc 7 c= ccc 7 c= c%cc 7 c= cAcc 7 c= c cc 7 c= c(cc 7 c= c:cc 7 c= cDc c c 7 c= c%%cc 7 c= cAAc 7 c= c c 7 c= c((cc 7 c= c::cc 7 c= cDDcc 7 c= cBBc 7 c= cc 7 c= c$$c 7 c= c99c c

Advanced Course ´ractice Matrix %cc Ac c (cc :cc Dc Bc cc =c =c IIc IIcc IIcc =c =cc =cc =c =c IIcc IIcc >c =c =c =cc =c =c IIcc >c >cc =c =cc =c =c =cc =c >c >c >c =c =cc =c >c >c >c >c =c =c =cc IIc >c >c >cc >c .cc .cc =c .c .c IIc IIc IIc .c .c .c .c .c .c IIc IIc .c .c .c =c =c =c IIc IIc =c =c =c IIcc IIc >c >c >c IIc =cc =c >c >c >c >c >c >c >c IIcc >c >cc >c >c >c >c >cc >c IIc IIc IIc IIc .c =c =c =cc IIc .cc .c .c .c =c =c =c .c .cc .c .cc .cc =c =c =c .c .c .c .c .c IIcc IIcc IIc .cc .c .cc .c .c IIcc IIcc IIc .cc .c .c .c .c .c .cc .c 7c 7c 7c 7c 7c 7c =c =c IIc 7c 7c 7c 7c 7cc =c =c =cc =c =cc IIc IIc =c =c =c c =c =c =c IIc IIc .c =c =c =c

9c =c =c =c =c =c IIc .c .c =c =c =c IIc =c =c IIc IIc IIc .c =c =c =c

=c =c IIcc .c .cc 7c

=c =c 7c IIc .c 7c

THIS MATIX ASSUMES DOUBE AFTE S´IT IS ´EMITTED AND ASO ASSUMES THAT YOU DON'T CHOOSE TO S´IT 10s.c

HOMEWO' c .c c c cc c c cc c cc8c c' cc.c cc8c c

esson 18: Advanced Single-Deck Blackjack, ´art 1 c

c c c & c cc c&cc c c c&ccc' c c c ccc cc ccc & 'ccTrue count conversion is difficult to do quickly, large bet spreads (over 4 to 1) are difficult to obtain and it's hard to keep an accurate count at a game which is dealt face-down when you're used to counting where all the cards are face up.c > c c c c c c c c c c c c 'c c c c"c c c cc & 'c c c c c c c c c'c%c cAc c c 1 ccc< c c ccc c cc1 c2"c c2 c" c ccc cc cccc c 'c ###c c c ,'-'c " c c c 8 c c c c c c c c c c c c 0 c . c. cc c cc cc 'c) c "c c$c cc c "cc c cc c c9&:*c cc cc cc c(Hc c cc cc cc c" cc' c- c cLc c cc c ccc c c cccc c & 'c c c cc c cc1 c) cc cc ! c c? *c c "c cc c c c cc c c c c c" c%Hc c ccc ""cc

The key to evaluating good single-deck play is how many cards you'll see before a shuffle.c c cc ccc c:$Hc c ccccc(c cc"c c cc c c "cc cccc c(Hc ccc c c"c- c"cc" c c cc c" c c cc c c c c c c c c c c c cc c c c ccc c %Hc c "c! c c c ,'-'c c cc c c ccc Which Counting System?

I use two different systems for counting cards; the Hi/o for multi-deck play and the 'Hi-Opt 1' system for single deck play.c!cc cA&:c cL3cDBc cc c$cc$ c c&c.ccc c c c c'cc c c 'cc c c ccccc c ccc cc cc cc c - cc c c "c c? c'c" cc c c c c cc cc8c c c ccc5 & 'c c cc c " c" c c cc c cc c8ccc5 c 'c c"c c c c cc c ccc 'c cc c c c c&&c c"c c&&c c

c Lc cc c c c c c c c c c - c c c c c @c c c 5 & 'c c "c c c%c cc c ccc 'c c c"c cc c c c cc c"cc)c c

cc cc cc c*c- c c"c c cc c ccc c c c! c c cc c

c c cc" cc c c c- c ccc & 'cc" ccc - c c c8cc

c c c c c c =&/c c c c c 5 c c c c c c c =C? c c 9c c c c5 cc c "c" c cc=C? c c cc c c "cc c c c c c cc

The most difficult aspect of single-deck play is computing the true count.c c c c"c c " c c cc "c c ccc"c c! c c ccc ccc ccc 'c cc 3c 'cc c ccc cc c c c 'c c c c!cc cc cc cc c5 c cc 'ccc c c c c c "c)c c *c "c c "c c c c c c 9 c c c c c "c c c Dc "c %(c 5 'c" cc c'c c cc c c c c 'c c c c"cc c c c c c c c c8cc ccc & 'cc cc5 & 'c c"c ccc c c cAc c c c c Ac c "c D(c ;c c ! c c c c 8c !c c c c c c (c "c (c !c c c c c$c" c cc c c c c c%(c c@c/ccc'c cc c cc

HOMEWO' c c 2 c c c c " c c =C? c " c c c c c c 'c c c c c cc ccc=&/cc c

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c

esson 19: Advanced Single-Deck Blackjack, ´art 2 c Basic Strategy Variations

Casinos that offer single-deck Blackjack games are very aware that it can easily be beaten by a counter who uses a big bet spread, so trying to play the game with a 1-12 spread like I recommend for 6-deck games will likely get you a one-way ticket out of the casino, pronto.c! c c c c c c cc"' & cc c"c cc(c c cc c" c c'c cc c c'c###ccc c.>cc5 cc"c"c c' c c c cc:& 'cc cccc c c c c cc c cc cc c c

If you know how to count cards, you can use the count to tell you how much to bet on each hand, but you can also use the count to help you play each hand more accurately, too.c c c cc c c c c c c' c c cc'c cccccc c,'-'c c ccc"ccc! c2 c c c&c c c " ccc ccc c c & 'cc " c c cc c c c c c " cc cc

Consequently, you have to sit through a lot more "negative" decks, but the good thing is that a shuffle is never too far away.c 6c c c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c "c , c c "c c c c c c c c c & 'cccc c c c ccc c c c'cc%c cc c(c c c c c cc c c "c c c cc c c ccc c, cc cc c cc c c 'cc c c c c c, c .c c c c " c 'c&%c&Ac c c c9c c c c c & 'c c cc! c2 c c&:c cL:c ccc cB(Hc ccc c ccc c :AHc c c c " c c c c c c c c c c c 'c " c c c c c" c c c cc c c

Some players prefer to learn just the indices for the most common hands, with the idea that they'll get a hand like A, 4 against a 5 less than 100 times in every 100,000 hands of play, but they'll have a 16 against 10 much more often.c c c" 'c,'-'c9'ccc% c c> c. c ccc ccc c!c c Bc c c c c c c c c , c .c c c c "c c

c c c c ' c c cc c cc" 'c cc c cc cc cc c cc cc c c c c 9 c c c c c c c c c c " c &%c c c c c c'c"c"cc cc cc c ccc ' cccc c c c ccc/c ccc cc cc cc c"cc8c" c cc"c cc " c c ccc ccc c c c"c c c###c cc"c c c cc c ccc c cc

c

But I'm of the opinion that if something about this game can be learned, it should be learned. )/'c c' c cc c c c c " c c c c @*c c c 'c c c "c c c c c c c c c c ""c cc c c cc$&

c c cc, cc c c ccccc c& %c cL:cc c- c cc ""c c> c cc c c c cc c c c cc & 'c c c c"c c c ?cc " c c'cc c c c ccc

ather than talk you through each hand's variation, as I did in the multi-deck section, what I've done here is produce a Basic Strategy Matrix that shows an "index" number for each appropriate play.c> c cc cc c "c cc" c c8ccccc" cc Basic Strategy Variations Matrix for Single-Deck

=Dc>%c c c c c

Dealer's up card

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Ace

A,A

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

Split

2,2

Hit

0

-1

-4

-5

Split

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

3,3

Hit

4

-1

-4

-5

Split

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

4,4 (Double)

Hit

Hit

5

0

0

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

5,5 (treat as 10)

Double

Double

Double

Double

Double

-6

-3

0

4

3

6,6

0

-1

-4

-6

Split

[email protected]>ccc c cc5 'c " c c c c c c

c cc c! c " c ccc c cc" c c cccc c c c c! cc5 'ccc>>cc cc c c' c c" cc5 c c ' c c c cc! c2 c c c c c"c cc c c ccc"c ccc'c cc c

c

The 'ey: ´enetration

Because a DD game uses only 104 cards, versus the 312 of a 6D game, just a few extra cards of penetration can make a big difference in how well you can do at the game. c c ,'-'c . c c c c c c c c ccc cccc:& 'ccc cc:(Hc cc cc c" cc cIn a DD situation, 65% penetration is very acceptable, 75% is fantastic and 80% or more is phenomenal.cc c c 'c c c ccc ($Hcc6cc c c c ' c cc c c c cNc cc c cc c

But penetration is really important, so it's something you need to become familiar with.c c cc c >>cc c c c c 9&:c c c "c c c c c c "c c c c c c c c &Bc "c c ) c 8c c c *c c c c c c ($Hc c c c c &c c c c "c c c c c c . c ,'-'c 9c c "c " c $: Hc c c c c c :$Hc c c c c c c$(Hc ccD(Hc c c DHc! c c" c c' cc

et's recap thisc cc cc 4c

Impact of ´enetration on a Double-Deck Game

7c7 cc ! c7c+ c ($Hc

$: Hc

:$Hc

$(Hc

::Hcc

Hc

D(Hcc

DHc

c 9c'c c ccc c c ccc"ccc! c2 c c c&c c cccc "c!cc "cc c c cc:& 'c c c c c c c cc>>c cTherefore, you have to pretty well accept the fact that you'll be playing in all counts, which makes the penetration factor even more important.ccc c c c c c c " c c c c c c ,c c c c c c "c c c c c,'-'cc cc c c! cc c ccc cc 3c c" c c c cccc"c" c c$Hc c c c ccc

c

c

c

Getting Started

c c c c c >>c c c c c c c c c c " cc ccc c c c c c:>c ccc c c c 4c c c c cc>>c cc c c cc5 c c c cc ccc ccc %c , ccc"c c ccc"ccc c c c c cc cc, c.c cc Ac c>>c c5 cc c cc cDc) c c c cc c c *c ccc c , c.c c c6 ccccc"'-' cc c c c"c cc c c c c c'c c cc c cc cc cc "c Fcc cc cc

. c c c c 'c c c c c"c"'c8ccccc c c c"cc ccc

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c

esson 22: Beating The Double Deck Game - ´art 2 c

cPart 1 (lesson 21)c c c c cccc'c cc c c c c c c cc c

more than 50% into the decks before shufflingc9 c cc'ccc###ccccc c c

'c c c c c c " c c c c c c c c c c c . c c c "c c c"c cc"c"c c)'c#(&#:$c c c#(&# $c c8*c" c c cc c c c

A bigger (or wider, if you prefer) bet spread - the ratio between your minimum and maximum bets - creates its own set of problems that you have to consider.c c ccc>>c ccc c" c c cc c ccc#$c"c cc&%c cc5 c c c'cc#%$c c"c!cc5 cccc "' cc ccc#A$$$c c c ccc,'-'c. c c cc#(c c"c 8&

'cc!c c c ""cc" c "c ccc cc c!c' cc cc "c "c "c c c c c "c "c c c c 'c c c c c c c c c c c c c c#$&#%$c c c c cc ccc- c c c c c c c & c"c =c c cc cc 3c c' c" c c cc c c cc c"c c

But, surprisingly, there isn't that much to gain in overall advantage by going from a 1-8 spread to a 1-12 spread in our "core" game,c c c %c ' c c c c 9&:c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c +c c c c c c c c :$c c c c $ c c c )(DHc *cc&Bc"c cc c c"c c ccc! c2 c)!2*c cc c c c cc%c c c cAc 8c cc c cc ccc!2c c(c c cc cc cc"c c c c$(BHc(See Part 1 for how this is calculated.)c9c&%c ccc!2c c c c c"cBc cc cc(c cc c c:c c c cc c c c c c "c c c $BHc That tiny extra edge is hardly worth the cost of the added risk of ruin and the extra scrutiny you'll get from the "pit critters" while using it.cc

!c c cc cc c 4cThe penetration is just so shallow that you'll seldom be making a 10- or 12unit bet, but you need them to make up for all the minimum bets you'll be making at counts where the casino has the edge over you.cc ccc cc5 cc"ccc 8& 'c c"ccc"ccc!2c

c c&c c c" c c c c ccc c c "c c c "& 'cc c cc c cc ccc cc c c c c. c c cc c" c c5 'c c c c "c c c c c !2c c c c" ccc c " c " c c ccc c c c c c c c c cc cc c'c cc c cc"cc c c cccc c c c cccccc 'c c c###ccc c ccc

c

c

Betting With the True Count

For each increase of 1 in the true count as figured by the Hi/o counting method, the player's advantage increases by about .5% in the average Blackjack game.c cc c cc c cc" c cc c Hc )%c ' c "c c c c c c "c c c c c c c 9&:c c c c c "*cc' cc! c2 c)!2*c c- c" ccc c ccccc c,cc ccc c c c c" c ccc c c c Cc c&ccc c c&ccc! c2 c c c9c!2c c%c cc cc c c(Hc cc 3cc!2cAc cccc c cHc c c c! cc c " c" c" cc!2c c" c% c)c ccc c c'cc c"*cc c

"& 'ccc c cc c ccc!2c c c ccc cc$(Hc

It is the edge that a player has on the upcoming hand that determines their bet.c2 c"c cc c c ccc cc c c" ccccccc c cc c ccc c,c"c c cc cc c cc c) ccJc2 *ccc8cc c9c c c c ccJc2 c"c ccc c"c cc c c cc c!c 'ccc cccHc c c c"cHc c c"' c cc c cccc c c c "c cc cc c ccc c cccc cc 'c cc cc c c ccc c'c c c" cc c"c cD:Hc cc c cHere's a table of optimum bets that will work well for a game where the casino has a 0.41% advantage over the Basic Strategy player:c

True Countc Advantage c

% Optimum Betc

&c c cc &c$Hc c c $Hc $cc

&$ Hcc

$Hc

cc

$$H8cD:Hc

$$DHc

%c

$(Hc8cD:Hcc

$ (Hc

Acc

$Hc8cD:Hcc

$BAHc

cc

(Hc8cD:Hcc

%Hc

(cc

%$Hc8cD:Hcc

(Hc

:cc

%(Hc8cD:Hcc

DHc

Dcc

A$Hc8cD:Hcc

%A(Hcc

Bcc

A(Hc8cD:Hcc

%DAHc

cc

$c8cD:Hc

A$Hc

$cc

(c8cD:Hc

A Hc

c By using this table, you can determine the optimal bet for any bankroll;c- c cc ccc c c"c c c cc"' c! c cc"' c c$5000cc c"c cc c c c2 is .0045 X $5000 = $22.50cc

Some ´ractical Considerations

c c cc cc c"cc c c cc#c cc"c

c c"c c c. cc c c c c "c c c c #(c c #$c c c c 'c 'c c c "c c c c c c c c c c c 'c c c c "c c c c c "c c c c c "c c cc c"c c cc"' c c c c ccc- c c "c cc cc c c c c c c %c c c c c c c c 'c c c c " c c c c c c c All of this rounding and negative-deck play cuts into your win rate, but by knowing the conditions that can cost you money, steps can be taken to minimize their impact on your earnings.c The Betting Spread

The most effective 1-8 betting spread would be to bet one unit whenever the casino has the edge and 8 units when the counter has the edge. !c c c c c " c c c cc c c c c c' c c c c c " cc c c c cc 'c 'c c c c9c c "c "c cc c"c'c c8 c"cc c ccc c c c$$Hc. cc c c c cc c cc c c c c c ccc c 'cc cc c cc c c"cc c &c c c"' c, cc cccccc) c c' c c cc+ c*c cc c'c c c"' c c c"cc- c($c c c8 c"c9c"' c c%$$&A$$c8c " c c"c c ccc cc

A more practical answer to both of the problems presented above is to "ramp" your bets, which is another way of saying gradually increase them. c c c "c c #$c c c &Bc c c 'c c c "c #B$c c c ccc c c> c cc c'c cc c c"c cc"cc ccc! c 2 c ccc cc c c- cc c c c"' c c"c? c c c c c"c#B$c cc!2c c(c c c!c c"c cc c c(Hc c c c"' c cc c c#B$c"c$$(c c c#($Ac cc c"' c< c"c c c "c 'c c#B$c "c cc c " c c c c"c c cc"c cccc c" c#($$$c cc c "c c cc c cc

G cc5 'c c4c!c#($$$c cc c c c c"cc c c c c c" c c cc ccc c ccc cc c c c cc c"' c c%$c c" c c#:$$c c c" ccc"ccccc c c cc'c" cccc

c

c

c

With a $5000 bankroll, the betting schedule could look like this:c

True Count c ´layer's Bet c Optimum Betc $c c cc

#$c

#$c

cc

#$cc

#A($c

%cc

#%(c

#%%($c

Acc

# $cc

# ($c

cc

#:$cc

#:$($c

(cc

#B$c

#D($c

:cc

#B$cc

#B($c

Dcc

#B$c

#D($c

Bcc

#B$cc

#A:($c

cc

#B$cc

#(($$c

$cc

#B$cc

#D ($c

c ´lease notice that "Optimum Bet" means the best bet for that count, were you able to make it. , c c c "c c c c#B$c c

c cccc c c(c c c, cc c"c cccccc "cc#($$$c"' c cc " c 4c #$$c c c!2c c :c c c c c c cc c c c "' c c"c"ccc#:$$c c cc The Bet Schedule Examined

First of all, I hate this schedule for a lot of reasons.c !cc c cc c c c c c cc c )72 *c c ' c c c c "c c c c "c c "& 'c c c &Bc 9 c c c c c c c c c c c c "c c #$c c cc "c R@c#B$Ncc

c c c B$c c c[email protected]+cc' c72c' cc> c ccc'c c cc cc c c c'c c c cc cc cc c c c c c c B: c c c >>c c " c c"c#%(ccc c c#%$$ccc8 3cBc cccc "c cc>>ccc c cc c c ccc

The other reason I hate this betting schedule is, it's "clunky".c ,c c c c c 5 c c c c "c c c c"c c c c cc c! c c c c#$c c#%(cc ccc ccc c#$c"c c ccc "ccc, ccc c c# $cc cc c c cccc c c ' c c 'c 'c c "c cc c cc c- c c c c c)#($*c9cc # $c c c c#:$c c c c" c " c c c ($Hc cc c cc c c cc c c c c c c c cc Cc c c cc c c, cc cc c"c'cc c cc c cc cc c'c c"c cc c c c cc ccc c C ccc c

"'c c c"cc ccc cccc c cc c" cc c2 'Nc7 c c"c c" ccc c c c cc c ccc c c c c cYou don't need that. But what's the alternative? et's look at some possibilities.cc The Betting Schedule Simulated

To test this betting schedule and to find some alternatives to it, I ran a series of simulations on Statistical Blackjack Analyzer (SBA) using the rules of our "core" game: 2 decks, double on any first two cards, double after splitting pairs, dealer hits on A-6 and surrender is not available. What got changed from simulation to simulation will be shown in the explanation for each.cc c Simulation #1

&c, c.c ccc cc c7 c,c c c cc

c " c c cc =C? c c ccc"c c c c cc c c)c*c7 c c:$C$ cc

esults: Initial Bet Advantage: 0.59% SCOE: 13.31 Estim. ´ayoff per 100,000 rounds played is $10,325.65, with an estimated standard deviation of $8950.40. Average st. dev. per round: $28.30 Av. std. per round per unit: 1.13153 Average bet per round: $17.42 Comments on Simulation #1c&cThis will serve as our "baseline" game and it's easy to see you'd really be wasting your time at it. The primary reason is the shallow penetration, just as I showed you in ´art 1.c !c .2/1+c c c c cS ÷÷"÷C # cOOc $ ÷E% cc c c"c

& c c

c c c c8 cc c" 'c'$$$c% c ccc c c c c c c c cc cccc c cc c ccc c"c

c ccc c"c84cccc.2/1+cc c###c c'c9 cc c cc.2/1+c c $&($c c c"cc c c c 'c ccc cc"ccc

!c c " ccc c &8 c)cN*c cc c"cc.,9c c c" c c c c c c c " c c c c c " c c $$$$$c c c c "c c c c c c

c! c "c c c c c c c5 ccc ccc c"c"ccc c c cccc c c 4cc c cc$$$$$c c c cc)c$$c cc c c $$$c c cN*c c8 c c cc c#$$$$c= cc#$$$$c cccc c c c cc c c ccc c cc cc c8 cc c c cc cc c c c c c c c c "c c c c #$$$$c c #B($c c #$($Nc ! c " c c " 'c c c

. c c "cc 'c)" c cc c ($c *c c c cc $$$$$c c c c c c c c c c#($$$c"' c cc c c c8c c cc c cc cc c9 c c cccc c c c c c c &"c c c c c c "c c Some people use stats like this to justify their idea, "It's all luck, not skill" and they couldn't be more wrong. , c ccc ccc c c c c" cc c cc c c!c> 'c c 4cc" c c7c7 c c'c" c 'c c ccc c Simulation #2

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esults: Initial Bet Advantage: 0.92% SCOE: 30.51 Estim. ´ayoff per 100,000 rounds played is $16,048.10, with an estimated standard deviation of $9187.70. Average st. dev. per round: $29.05 Av. std. per round per unit: 1.13153 Average bet per round: $17.42 Comments on Simulation #2 - You can quickly see that the average bet remains the same, but the potential profit has increased by nearly 60% and that's due to making better plays with the cards you're dealt.c c c c cc c c8c ccc"c cc ccc c, c.c c"c- cc c " c c cc c'c cccc 8& 'cccc cBccc c cc###c c c cc c c ccc" c cc c cc c & c c c cc%c c c

c c c c 'c c c c c c c " c c "c "c c c c c 5 cc c cccc"c" cc c c c cc cc cc ccc&:c c L$cc cc cccc c'cc c Simulation #3

In this one, I want to "de-clunk" the original betting schedule presented above by making it less precise and by using as few $5 chips as possible. ccc c c c cc c c #$c"c " c cc'c c5 'cc"c#%(ccc c cc c c c#B$c c cc c c cc c "c cc c c"cc 4c#$c c, cccccc& ccc c"c"c#($ccAc #D(cc c c c c c"c#B$c c#$$cc(@c! cc5 cc"c"' cc cc"c c

#$ccc!2c c(c" c#:$$$cc c cc cc c c"cc c cccc cc(c c c c c c c c c c c ' c c c c "c #$$c c c c c c c c c" ccc c c cc cc cccc#$$cc c cc"cc c" ccc"Nc /c c' c c cc" c'ccc c c'ccc cc8cc c c9 c c c c c c c cc c c c" c cc c cc c c & c c cc c c c c c

cc cc c ccc c c7 c c c cccc c7c c = cc c ccThe GameMaster Online - The Blackjack Pagecc c'c c c c'c c c

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esults: Initial Bet Advantage: 1.02% SCOE: 35.33 Estim. ´ayoff per 100,000 rounds played is $19,845.70, with an estimated standard deviation of $10,557.60. Average st. dev. per round: $33.39 Av. std. per round per unit: 1.15907 Average bet per round: $19.40 Comments on Simulation #3c&c =c c " NcWe've just about doubled the estimated profit and it would take a two standard deviation event to put us at a loss, but even then it would be only (!!) $2000 or so.c c " cc c c c"c"c

c" cc c c c @c6 c c c c&$c c c c c ccc c c5 c c c c c c cc c, cc c c #%$C c c c cc c

) c$$c cc *c c c c c ccc c cc#:$$$c c! c c ccc c c c3cccc c cc c

, c cc c c cc c c cc c c ' c'cc cc"c c cccc!2c c c&Ac c c c c c' c" c c cccc "c> cc c"

c cc c'c c cccc ' c c cc'c cc###cc cNcc c Simulation #4

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esults: Initial Bet Advantage: 1.40% SCOE: 67.41 Estim. ´ayoff per 100,000 rounds played is $29,929.60, with an estimated standard deviation of $11,527.45. Average st. dev. per round: $36.45 Av. std. per round per unit: 1.1583 Average bet per round: $21.43 Comments on Simulation #4c&cWow! This puppy makes you want to run out and find a game, doesn't it? , c c c c c cc c c c"cc c c c'c c c cc$$$$$c c" c c"c c cc"c5 cc"c= c @cc.,9ccc cc" cc' c'c cc c cc c "c! c c c$ :AD:c c cc c %% :ccc c c ! c- c " c (Hc cccc cc"c "c. cc'c'c cc c c ccc$$$$$c c cc cc cc c#(cc c cc c c"cccc c c c cc c"cc cc"c c cc, c c c c ccc@cc

You actually make more per hour under the conditions of Simulation #3 because you're "on the green" almost all the time but you make more per hand played when you use the tactics of Simulation #4.c?'c cc c ccc c cc c c c' cc c

HOMEWO' c Here's some homework. > c cc"c

c c'c c cc'c cc c c c cc c ccG c cc c! c2 c cc c)c c c%c*c cc cc c"c cc"'c c cc c c' cc c c"c"c cc c cc8c) c c c c> "c>'*c cc cc" c c cc

esson 23: Beating The Double Deck Game - ´art 3 c Double Deck Basic Strategy Variations

Beating the double-deck Blackjack game requires that you first find a game that offers decent penetration and a minimum bet that will allow you to spread your bets from 1 to 8,cc c cc "c cc c" c c c c"' c9 c c c c5 c c c 'c c ccc c c c c c cc cc

If you know how to count cards, you can use the count to tell you how much to bet on each hand, but you can use the count to help you play each hand more accurately, too.c c c c c c c c c c c ' c c cc'c cccccc c,'-'c c ccc"ccc! c2 c c c&c c c" ccc cccc c "& 'c c" cc c c cc c" c c c c c cc 8& 'cc

Consequently, you have to sit through a lot more "negative" decks, but the good thing is that a shuffle is never too far away.c 6c c c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c c c c cc c cc c c c "c, c c'c"c c cc cc cc c "& 'cccc c c c ccc c c c'cc%c cc c(c c c c c cc c c "c c c cc c c ccc c, cc cc c cc c c'cc cc c cc, c.c c c c " c'c&%c&Ac c c c A realistic range for most double-deck games is a True Count of -6 to +6 and that will cover 85% of all the hands you'll ever play, assuming 50-60% penetration. c

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c c c c ' c c cc c cc" 'c cc c cc cc cc c cc cc c c cc 9 c c c c c c c c c c " c &%c c c c c c 'c "c "c c cc cc c ccc ' cccc c c c ccc/c ccc cc cc cc c"cc8c" c cc"c cc " c c ccc ccc c c c "c c c###c cc"c c c cc c ccc c cc

, c c cc ccc c" c ccc"c cc c"c c)/'c c' c ccc c c c " c c c c @*c If double-deck games will be where you'll spend most of your time, then it's probably worth the effort to memorize all the indices presented here. , cc c c ccccc c &%c cL:cc c- c cc ""c c> c cc c c c cc c c c cc

8& 'cc c c c"c c c cearn those numbers you think are important for where and how you play.cc

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c Using the Matrix

It's a lot easier to use this matrix if you've memorized the Basic Strategy for this game and if you haven't yet done that, you really should learn it before you get into this advanced mode of play.c c c c c c

c c c " c c c c c c c c c c c c "c c c c "c !c "c cc c c" c cc! c2 c cc' cc c9 c ccc c c c cc ccccc c" cc c cc cc5 c cc c cc c9c c8c c c c9Dc cc c%c cc8c c cc "c%ccc c c c cc c c c c c @cc c c cc c c c c "c- c c c cc9Dc cAc c(c c:c? c c c cc cccc c c c ""cc c c c ccc9Dc cc%@c/c c c c c" c c cc, c.cc c "c cc cc2 5 cc c cc c cc c c "c9Dc cc c c c c%ccc! c2 c c%c c c cc! c2 c c c c%c cc, c.ccc c c c9 ccAc, c.c c c "c9Dc, cc 8c c c c&%c c cc c c "c9Dc cAc ccc! c2 c c&%c cc c c cc c c c ? c'c" c c ccc c c 4cBcBc c$c!c ccc" 8c c. P:c c cc! c2 c c:c c c cc c ccB c" c c c

!cc c c cc, c.cF c8c c 4cIf the number in a slot is 0 or a minus, then that play is a Basic Strategy move that you should make as long as the count is higher than the number shown.c c8cc9 c c c cc "c c c cc c c$c cc cc c c c- cc c c c cc c c c "c c c cc c c&Ac cc)"cc&c ccc&%*cc

c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c "c You hopefully know that proper Basic Strategy tells us to never take insurance (even when you have a 'natural' and the dealer's up card is an Ace, in spite of what everybody else tells you)c" ccc & 'ccc c "c" c "ccc! c2 c c%c) c% cc cccc c c *c cc

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earning the Basic Strategy Variations

Once you've chosen the Basic Strategy variations you want to learn, you should make a set of flash cards for them.c +8c c c c c c 8 c c ? c c c !c c ,'-'c . c c c c & c c c 'c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c " c c c cc & 'c,'-'c c ccc

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esson 24: Understanding the Surrender Option c

ccc"cc c c cc9c2cc cc c"cc!c c cc c cccc)1 c *c c c cc,'-'cccc cc " c"cc2 c 2 c 2 c and that included a weird rule called 'surrender'. At least we thought it was weird until we figured out what a huge advantage it gave to the player who used it correctly!cc

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4c"Surrendering is nuts! Why give up half your bet when you could just as easily win the hand?"c! c c

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c c c c cccc c ccc cc c c cWhen allowed, you may elect to give up half the amount you've bet rather than play out the hand. ccc c cc cc c c cc c8 c c c c cc($Hc ccc c cc c c!c c c c c 4c c c c ! c c c c c c c c c ' c c c c Cc c c "'-'c)cc9c c$c c *c" c cc'cc c c c92ccc c c ccc cc c cc cc c "c " cc c'cc Cc c c c!cc " c c " c c c c c 'c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c ccc cc

These days, the most common form of surrender is the 'late' version where the dealer checks for a natural and, if s/he doesn't have it, then you may surrender.c! c c cc c c ccc c ccc c Cc ' c c"c" c cc c , cc c cc c cc c "c c c c c cc c cc c

et me show you an example;c cc:& 'ccc "cc c c cc c c c c9& :c c ccc c ccDc cc c c cc$cc8 c c c c(ADHc ccc c c"ccc c c c c c c ($Hc c c c c "c c c c 9c c c " c "c cc

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If you count cards, the surrender option is an even better deal as the count goes up.c c c c c cc c c c c c c ' c c c c c c c c c c $ c c c ) c 9 *c c c c ') *c cc c c cc cc

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