Blackjack newsletter and blackjack strategySubscribe to the Blackjack Insider newsletter

How to Win EVEN MORE Blackjack Tournaments - Volume II... only $14.95. Ken Smith's second e-book on tournament blackjack contains more of his winning strategies that have made him one of the best tournament blackjack players in the world.

Or, purchase both Volume I and Volume II together for $24.95... over 15% off!

NEW! Read how Ken used skill to win a recent blackjack tournament. Get his books and you could too!

How To Win EVEN MORE Blackjack Tournaments - Volume II
(web ads above removed with paid membership. Click here for advertisement rates)



JPB has been playing blackjack and counting cards part-time since 1996. He plays throughout the country but primarily in Missouri. He has been a Green Chip member of for four years and one-time winner of the Post-of-the-Month. JPB is a professional engineer with three engineering degrees and works as a consulting engineer.

This trip occurred in December 2013. Casinos visited include:




Over the past few months, I have made several trips to St. Louis to visit one or more of the six area casinos that offer blackjack. St. Louis is the third closest "large" casino market to me, and so I have made quite a few visits there over the years. The good news is that I found one casino that offers one of the best double-deck blackjack games for an advantage player of any casino in the country. The bad news is that as I have returned, I have found the countermeasures (reduced penetration and/or preferential shuffle) to be taken sooner and sooner each time. The playing conditions for this casino, as well as other St. Louis casinos, are summarized below.

St. Louis Logistics

The logistics of the St. Louis casinos is not particularly amenable to someone trying to hop around. Hollywood and Ameristar are fairly close together (within five miles) on the west side of the metropolitan area, and Casino Queen and Lumiere are also within about 5 miles of each other but they are a good 40+ miles from Ameristar. In addition, the Casino Queen and Lumiere casinos are located in areas that appear to be somewhat lacking in safety. Argosy/Alton Belle is not particularly close to any of the other casinos and it is located about 20 miles north of downtown St. Louis. River City is also off on its own about 15 miles south of downtown St. Louis.


This casino was formerly called Alton Belle and it used to be a decent place to play six-deck games. The rules have never been good (H17, DAS, RSA, no surrender), but I remember visiting there they had as many as eight blackjack tables open. Penetration was decent, and with enough tables to hop around, it was a decent place to play.

Now, however, this casino is now part of the Hollywood brand. The conditions I observed on my most recent visit were:

  • Only six deck
  • H17, DAS, RSA for a house advantage of 0.56%
  • Penetration about 4.2/6.0 decks dealt out.
  • Table Minimum $5.00 or $10.00
  • Table Maximum $500.

These are bad conditions, but compounding them was the fact that even during weekday prime time around 9:00 PM, there were only two blackjack tables open.

In summary, if you are an advantage player, skip Argosy. It is just not worth the drive.

Ameristar in Saint Charles

When I visited, there were two double-deck tables open in the high-limit room and several more closed tabled so I assume there would be more double-deck games open during peak periods. The conditions I observed were:


  • H17, DAS, no RSA for a house advantage of 0.40%
  • Penetration ranging from 70-80% (One dealer was a consistent 80% penetration)
  • Table minimum $25
  • Table maximum $2000


  • H17, DAS, RSA for a house advantage of 0.56%
  • Penetration about 4.6-4.9 decks dealt out
  • Table minimum $25 in high limit (lower in main pit)
  • Table maximum $ 2000 in high limit (lower in main pit)

The double-deck game is...

...enter your member login information below to read this article/newsletter...

Paid Members-Only Article

You have clicked on a link to a Blackjack Insider web page or article for paid subscribers. You must have a paid membership to the Blackjack Insider newsletter to view this content. About 1/2 of the articles in each issue of the Blackjack Insider are for paid members only, while the rest are viewable by everyone. Your purchased membership will allow you to read all Blackjack Insider articles for 12 months.

Enter your user name and password below (they were listed and e-mailed to you after you purchased your Blackjack Insider membership):

User name:
Password: (case sensitive)
Save user name and password in your browser so you don't have to type them again later

Forgot your membership id or password? Click here.

How do I get a membership?

A membership can be purchased online at our secure store with your credit card for only $19.95 per year. You will receive a user name and password immediately by e-mail which you can use to read the all past and future members-only articles for 12 months, as well as the regular free articles.


Do I have to buy a membership?

No. Blackjack Insider will continue to be published as a free monthly e-newsletter. But about 1/2 of the articles each month will be for paid members only. Subscribers without a membership can still view and read the non-members articles for free.

What happens after I buy a membership?

Immediately after you complete your purchase, you will receive a unique login user name and password. These are displayed on the final purchase page, and are e-mailed to you. When you click on a members-only article in our web site, you will be prompted for this user name and password (as shown above). Simply enter them, and enjoy the article! Note: make sure you turn on the checkbox above when you login, to save the user name and password so that you don't have to re-enter them every time you view members-only articles.

Why did you switch to paid memberships?

Blackjack Insider is a professional monthly publication with top-notch articles by world-reknown gaming experts. In addition, we have regular reporters that monitor game conditions and tournament schedules throughout North America. We use a partially paid subscriber model to enable us to continue getting the best content for our readers from leading authors on blackjack and gaming.

©2015, DeepNet Technologies. No material to be copied without express permission of DeepNet Technologies.
This site developed by DeepNet Technologies, Ontario, Canada. Contact webmaster @ bjinsider . com if you have problems.
This site is best viewed in a 800x600 graphics mode, or higher.