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by Joe Pane

Joe Pane is a skilled advantage blackjack player and an experienced tournament player who has won over a million dollars in blackjack tournaments. Joe has continued his overall tournament accomplishments with a recent 2nd place finish in the Las Vegas Hilton $100,000 Dice Tournament, and his multiple recent cashes in poker tournaments in the 2009 Wildhorse Resort and Casino Spring Poker Round Up held in Pendleton, Oregon, and also at Binions and Treasure Island in Las Vegas. He recently finished second and won $10,000 in a craps tournament in Biloxi, and he hosts the "House of Pane" message board on His peers consider him to be one of the strongest and most feared blackjack tournament players on the circuit.

Is your blackjack game fuel-efficient? Alternatively, is your game one that guzzles your money away just like a Hummer guzzles its owner’s money on fuel?

Most players (and I do mean most players) believe their blackjack game needs no repairs or a much-needed scheduled tune up. Would you drive your car on a long trip with no attention paid to the air pressure in your tires, without checking the oil level and filters, or the current performance level of your engine? Of course you wouldn’t, because all of these functions have an impact on your arrival time, and how much the actual trip will cost you.

Well, your blackjack game is no different; you need to pay attention to what tables you sit down at and what the rules of the game are, just as you need to pay attention to your car and the roads you will be driving during your trip. There is no difference between the two. Poor pre-trip planning will have an adverse affect on your overall results at the blackjack tables just like they would on your cars trip performance.

If you are not counting cards, you are already starting your blackjack journey with an expectation of a guaranteed loss. Yes, I am aware of your wins that you have had at the blackjack tables in the past but you know it is only a matter of time before the math takes over and you will find yourself on the wrong side of the profit-and-loss sheet.

Having the ability to count cards allows you to turn the negative expectation of the game of blackjack into a positive expectation for you. Now please, do not believe that counting cards will guarantee that you will win every time you sit down and play. Because if that were really the case I would not be writing this article, and other professional players would not be giving up their valuable time to share their knowledge with you in the articles they write for the Blackjack Insider. What we accomplish by having the ability to count cards is the same luxury that the casinos have against you on most hands that you play. We, the card counters, are the favorite to win that particular hand just like the casinos are a favorite against you.

However, do not give up because of this, because we all love to play the game of blackjack and the focus of this article is to show you that you can play this game without losing all of your money even if you are not an accomplished card counter.

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