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)


by Mark Gruetze

Mark Gruetze writeís the weekly "Playerís Advantage" gambling column for the Pittsburg Tribune-Review in Pennsylvania. His columns are online at He has been a skilled recreational player for more than 30 years, focusing on blackjack, video poker, and poker. E-Mail questions or comments to

Note: The trip to Tunica occurred in March 2014. Casinos visited include:

Gold Strike




Gold Strike

Gamblers averse to cigarette smoke have a new option in Tunica. In March, Gold Strike Casino opened a nonsmoking gambling area with three blackjack tables, a carnival game and close-to-playable video poker.

The nonsmoking table game pit is on the second floor, in the area formerly used as a poker room. Video poker and slot machines line the walls and the circular area overlooking the escalators to the first floor. The Millennium Theater is opposite the nonsmoking pit.

Pit supervisors and dealers said the nonsmoking area opened with little fanfare on March 14, a Friday. My wife and I discovered it the following week during our annual Tunica spring break. The option of playing a double-deck game without having to breathe secondhand smoke is joy enough; the $10 minimums, deep penetration and feeling of a private room enhance its appeal.

Two of the blackjack games are pitch; the third was a six-deck shoe. The fourth table was a Mississippi Stud game.

The blackjack shoe game and at least one of the pitch games had a $10 minimum whenever we checked throughout the day. The minimum at the other pitch game ranged from $10 to $50. We were there only during the week; minimums might be higher on the weekends, when the Gold Strike tends to be packed.

Blackjack rules are standard for Tunica: dealer hits Soft 17, pairs may be resplit up to four hands, DOA, and RSA. Gold Strike always seems to deal a little deeper into the deck than other casinos, but penetration was even better in the nonsmoking area during our visit. The first-floor Gold Strike tables use a notch on the discard trays to insert the cutoff card. The trays in the nonsmoking area did not have the notch, and dealers consistently gave 65 to 70 percent penetration as they tried to guess where the notch should have been. During one session, the dealer notified a PC that she had to shuffle even though she hadnít reached the cutoff card because she was in danger of running out of cards if she dealt the next hand. Another dealer apologized for going the other way; she inadvertently turned the deck the wrong way to insert the card and came to the cutoff in just two hands.

Dealers and PCs said the room was so crowded on opening night that people were waiting for spots to open up. Itís hard to tell whether that was because of the popularity of the nonsmoking area itself or because the entire casino was packed. We walked through Gold Strikeís first floor that night and couldnít find an open spot at anything below a $25 minimum.

Another amenity of the nonsmoking area is a...

...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.