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BJI Newsletter, September 2011, #140

Read this issue as a single web page


We welcome high-stakes blackjack player Arthur Dent, who will be contributing trip reports to the BJI. This month his trip report (part 1) covers over 20 casinos that he visited in the Las Vegas area. Likewise, new contributing writer Colin, who has won millions playing blackjack, writes about the value of team vs. solo play in his first article. KC Brooks visited Northern Nevada and he reports on playing conditions that he found in casinos there. Frank Scoblete writes about the new boutique casinos that will be coming to Atlantic City and the current playing conditions in each casino. Mark Gruetze is asking for your help in his article on Pennsylvania Blackjack Rules. Players can email the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to tell them to keep the present player-favorable blackjack rules (see Gruetze's article for details). High-stakes blackjack player JPB has been in the trenches playing and winning at blackjack for 15 years. This month he tells the story of what he would have done differently when he visited a casino in the Midwest that had a great game. Ralph Stricker concludes his series of articles about the demise of his big player M. R. due to his lack of discipline, and offers a playing tip for team players on the value of being "grandfathered in." In a thought-provoking article, Basil Nestor makes the case that it may be OK to deviate from the basic strategy for some hands (read his article for the list of hands and the reason why you would consider deviating). Only Vinny DeCarlo can write a story about Death and Casinos that you will find interesting, entertaining, and perhaps shocking. The big story from Las Vegas was the demise of the newly installed Max-Royals progressive video poker machines at M and Frank Kneeland speculates on what may have caused this. Blackjack player Stu Hoss played in his first video poker tournament (in Las Vegas) and reports on his experience, including some good advice for anyone interested in doing the same. Last, but not least, we have a schedule of upcoming major blackjack tournaments, courtesy of

We're proud to announce the inclusion of hilarious gambling-themed cartoons by award winning artist Jerry King in Blackjack Insider. We'll have a new cartoon by Jerry in every monthly issue, so stay tuned for more! You can learn more about Jerry's work at:

Jerry King Cartoon
Copyright ©2011, Jerry King, All rights reserved.

On October 21 in Las Vegas, I will be presenting two seminars at the one-day Golden Touch Advantage-Play Friday event. My first seminar will cover how to get the advantage in blackjack, and the second on how to get the edge in video poker. If you want to gain the advantage over the casino at either game, consider attending this great event. Classes are filling up. For details, click here.

You can watch me answer common questions about card counting by clicking on this new video:

In the Article Spotlight
Blackjack's "Senseless 7" Misplayed Hands by Fred Renzey

This month's great 'insider' article appeared in issue #35 of the BJI. According to Renzey, "The seven hands (described in the article) are what I believe to be the most universally misplayed blackjack hands. How do you usually play them? My money says you don't get half of them right..."

Enjoy the issue.

Henry Tamburin

If you come across an unfamiliar blackjack term in one of our articles or reports, see our Blackjack Glossary:

Did you know we have all past newsletter issues available in our archives, with online search?

  • BJI Archives:
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    E-mail subscribers can also read each month's issue online at our web site: BJI Issue #140, September 2011.

    BJI Newsletter, September 2011, #140
    single web page for printing and offline viewing

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    LAS VEGAS TRIP REPORT-Part 1 by Arthur Dent

    "High-stakes blackjack player Arthur Dent visited over 20 casinos in Las Vegas and reports on their playing conditions..."

    Read Dent's complete article.


    "From Vegas to Northern California, and back ... a three-part series reviewing the various casinos of Northern Nevada, specifically in Reno and Sparks, plus a few Indian casinos discovered on the journey..."

    Read Brooks' complete article.

    ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Frank Scoblete and Alene Paone

    "Scoblete writes about the new smaller "boutique" casinos that are coming to AC, and summarizes the current playing conditions in each casino..."

    Read Scobletes' complete article.


    "Pennsylvania appears poised to retain its status as home to some of the most player-friendly blackjack rules in the country. That's because..."

    Read Gruetze's complete article.

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    "If I could do things different, in general, I would change very little. If you want to make money counting cards, you have to get the big bets out at the right times. However, I identified one casino a few years ago where I realized too late that using a less aggressive bet spread and some cover might have been a wiser approach. Here's what happened..."

    Read JPB's complete article.


    "Since that fateful winter, Ben and I have played as a team, and ran teams, for nearly 10 years, taking millions of dollars out of casinos. Through the process, we made tons of mistakes and had to learn a lot the hard way. Ironically, since then, we have met most of the people who have run every other major Blackjack Team, and found that we had reached many of the same conclusions about how and why to play as a team (as well as what to avoid). Here are a few of the top lessons I've learned over the past 10 years..."

    Read Colin's complete article.

    Smart Gaming web site


    "M.R. and I had returned from our play in Las Vegas and decided to play at the Mohegan Sun Casino. He assured me that he had been consistently playing there, and had received no heat whatsoever. Little did I know that I was not privy to all of the details..."

    Read Stricker's complete article.


    "Blackjack basic strategy is a valuable tool to help you win. However, basic strategy is not a one-size-fits-all monolithic sledgehammer. It's actually a collection of..."

    Read Nestor's complete article.

    DEATH AND CASINOS by Vinny DeCarlo

    "My sister recently witnessed a body being carried out of downtown Binion's casino from a possible suicide and confided in me that she had yet to see any press or TV report about it. She then asked me if there were any cover-ups going on in the Las Vegas media. I thought to myself that this was a good question because..."

    Read DeCarlo's complete article.


    "A few months ago, I told you all of a new bank of progressive video poker machines at M, entitled 'Max-Royals,' that I had a hand in creating and getting management to install in their casino. At that time, I saw this as a possible indication of a trend reversal by casinos, signaling possible bluer skies ahead for video poker players. Apparently, the more things change, the more they stay the same..."

    Read Kneeland's complete article.


    "On a surprisingly mild late spring afternoon in the Vegas Valley, I sauntered to the mailbox expecting to find the usual junk mail and a couple of bills (which I did). Amongst all that was a mailer from the Four Queens Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas. Experience has taught me that casino mail is never a bad thing. I quickly opened the item to find this on the first page: 'Come join us for a Sizzlin' tournament!'..."

    Read Hoss's complete article.


    "Check out the schedule of major blackjack tournaments in September and October by region in our Blackjack Tournament Report courtesy of"

    Read the tournament report.

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