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 Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin is the author of the "Ultimate Guide to Blackjack" (http://blog888casino/casino-guides/blackjack), editor of the Blackjack Insider Newsletter, and host of

There are several ways to get an 18 when you play blackjack. The 18 could be "hard," meaning the hand either doesn't contain an ace, or if it does, the ace is counted as one. (Examples are 10-8, 8-5-5, and ace-4-10-3.) Or you can get a "soft 18," meaning a hand containing an ace that is counted as 11. (Examples are ace-7, and 5-2-ace.) Moreover, you could be dealt a pair of 9s for 18. What follows are the playing strategies for all these "different" 18s (some might surprise you).

Hard 18

The strategy for a hard 18 is simple: Do nothing except stand.

Most players are very happy to be dealt a hard 18. They are ready to break out the bubbly and take their winnings to the bank because they believe they have a big edge regardless of what the dealer's upcard happens to be. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a hard 18 (e.g., 10-8) isn't such a great hand. Don't believe me? Look at the following table that shows the player's' expectation when holding a 10-8 against all dealer's upcard for a six-deck game where the rules specify the dealer must stand on soft 17 (S17) and players can double down after pair splitting (DAS). (Note: A positive expectation means the player has the edge over the dealer; a negative expectation means the dealer has the advantage.)


Dealer's Upcard

































*Expectations from Appendix A (6D S17), Blackjack Attack Playing the Pros' Way by Donald Schlesinger

The table shows you why you always stand with hard 18 no matter what the dealer shows. In all cases, your expectation is better (i.e., more positive or less negative) when standing compared to hitting. However, when a player stands on 10-8, winning the hand is not always a sure thing. You'll have the edge when the dealer shows a 2 through 8 (all positive expectations) but against the dealer's 9, 10, and ace, you're at a disadvantage (the expectations are all negative). The bottom line is this: Even though you should always stand with a hard 18, the best you can hope for if you were dealt a hard 18 on every hand is to end up about even.

Soft 18

When you are dealt a soft 18, you could stand, hit, or double down. Most players routinely...

...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.