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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, July 2003, #42

Blackjack Info

Kenneth Smith hosts the popular blackjack website, and regularly writes tournament articles for Blackjack Confidential magazine. You can subscribe to his monthly email newsletter at

Fatherís Day Bonanza

By Kenneth R. Smith

The Imperial Palace in Biloxi was a busy place on Fatherís Day June 15th. The casino had widely publicized a promotion available for that Sunday. Blackjacks would be paid at 2:1 instead of the normal 3:2 odds for 24 hours starting at 12:01 AM Sunday. The promotion applied to all 6-deck tables of blackjack in the casino, and the promotion was good up to the normal table limits.

Paying an extra half-bet for blackjack may sound like nothing special, but it makes a big difference in the game. Blackjack is nearly a breakeven proposition at the outset, so anything that increases the payback can create a lucrative player opportunity. Players get a blackjack once every 21 hands or so on average. By receiving an extra half-bet every 21 hands, the player gets the benefit of an extra 2.3% return. The normal Imperial Palace six-deck game allows resplitting of Aces, and a basic strategy player will average a loss of about 0.4% of his bets. But subtract our 2.3% extra return from that 0.4% house edge, and we end up with a very attractive 1.9% player advantage for a basic strategy player.

Thatís a pretty tempting deal. Play basic strategy, and you can expect to win 1.9% of your total action. Figuring a leisurely pace of 60 hands per hour, each player stands to make more than one bet an hour in expected profit. I put my family on notice that I would be absent on Fatherís Day. I planned to spend as much time as I could stand at the tables at the Imperial Palace, and I hoped to win a nice Fatherís Day profit for my efforts.

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