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by Riverboat Flyer

 Riverboat Flyer is a low-stakes blackjack player. He plays the southern Ohio riverboats along with frequent trips to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica, and occasionally Lake Tahoe. He has been counting cards for over ten years, using the Hi-Op, High Low, and currently the half-count system.

A week in Tunica was on my agenda for early spring 2017. Pretty much all of Tunica has the same blackjack rules: dealer's hit soft 17, split any two cards, double after pair splitting allowed, you can re-split aces, and no surrender.( Note: Some casinos may not allow doubling after splitting on low limit double deck games.)

Gold Strike

First stop was the Gold Strike casino. The Gold Strike and Horseshoe casinos are the two major blackjack houses in Tunica where high rollers can play without a lot of scrutiny. I played at a $5 minimum, six-deck game. The lady next to me was the table comic; she talked non-stopped. If she hit a stiff into a good hand, she would get all excited and hit me in the arm, and then apologize for doing so. After a while she noticed that she had lost her bracelet. I found it in the drink holder by my left arm that she kept hitting. At first she thanked me profusely. Then she got the idea that I was a pickpocket and swiped the bracelet. When I explained that if I had swiped it, I would have pawned it, she decided I was OK. My session was not nearly as interesting as my tablemates. In 3.5 hours of play, I dropped 9 units. I fell behind early and just could not dig out of the hole.

Two more sessions at the Gold Strike were exact opposites. In the first session, the count never went up. I muddled through 1.5 hours, dropping 30 units. At a later session, I got several high counts. On one hand I split 6s four times against a dealer six up, including one double down. My highest hand had a count of 19. Things did not look good, until the dealer (thankfully) drew to a 22. I got numerous blackjacks and won several double downs. After 2.5 hours of play, I quit up 90 units.

Of course splitting 6s doesn't always work out. At another session, I was able to split 6s four times, this time against a dealer 3. The count was negative, so I had a minimum bet out. Once again I did not wind up with one good hand, and, not surprisingly, the dealer beat all four hands with a 19 (ouch).

Sam's Town

I stopped at Sam's Town, but did not play there. They had only...

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