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BJI Newsletter, May 2007, #88


Reminder: is sponsoring its first blackjack tournament this coming weekend at the Tournament Blackjack Tour in Laughlin, NV. There will be cash prizes and gifts. See below for details.

We begin our May issue with a money management tip for part-time advantage blackjack players courtesy of The GameMaster. Fred Renzey has written in the past about "Hand Interaction" as a way to gain the edge but now he questions the ethics of such plays. Read his article and then send him your thoughts. Our Florida based BJ reporter, Ian Macalester, took a recent trip to Vegas and reports on the playing conditions that he found in the Summerlin area (plus other) casinos. Likewise, Joe Pane reports on what he found at the blackjack tables at three high end Strip casinos, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, and Venetian (you'll be surprised at what he found at Caesars). Frank Scoblete and Alene Paone let our readers take center stage and report on playing conditions in Atlantic City (including a caution about the "good" video poker games at Yonker's Raceway). Sammy Vaughn tells more stories about his tournament playing friends back in the "good old days". Tournament Pro Ken Smith shows one way to lock out an opponent and he also offers several tips on how to quickly determine the payout for an opponent's blackjack in tournament play. Monkeysystem, another tournament expert, explains why he doesn't think Internet Free Roll Tournaments are a waste of time. Ready for some video poker? Then read Jean Scott's explanation on how to use her new scouting guide to instantly locate the highest paying video poker machine in any casino. If Texas Hold'em is your game, read Bill Burton's advice on when it's best to bluff your opponent. Lastly, we have a summary of upcoming blackjack tournaments around the country courtesy of Blackjack Tournament

We will be sponsoring an elimination format blackjack tournament on Sunday, May 13, 2007 at the River Palms Casino, Laughlin, NV. This tournament is sanctioned by the Tournament Blackjack Players Association (TBJPA). The entry fee is $150 + $15 casino fee. Prize money will be given to all players who advance to the semi-final and final table. In addition, will be offering additional prizes to the 6 finalists. This player-friendly tournament was designed for the nickel and quarter player, and guarantees that a minimum of two players will advance from each table. For details on the TBJPA, including the tournament playing rules, visit their web site For a list of prizes for the Tournament, click here. The TBPA has negotiated a special room rate of $20 per night. Call the hotel's Host Department at 1-800- 835-7904 and use code TBJPA-07. In addition to the Tournament, there will be a tournament hosted by on Friday, May 11th, and the first Tournament Blackjack Tour (TBT) tournament will be held on Saturday, May 12th. There will also be satellite tournaments on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I look forward to meeting BJI Members for some fun, camaraderie, and, of course, friendly competition. Got any questions about the tournaments? Call Rick Jensen at 1-972-253-5848 or email Rick at

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I'll be teaching the next GTB course in Las Vegas on June 23 and 24. You will learn the OBS and Speed Count in just two days in this hands-on training course plus details on how to bet, bankroll requirements, risk-of-ruin, best games, and more. For details, visit, or call 1-800-944-0406. Plan now to visit the gaming capital of the world in June while also learning how to become an advantage player.

If you come across an unfamiliar blackjack term in one of our articles or reports, see our Blackjack Glossary:

E-mail subscribers can also read each month's issue online at our web site: BJI Issue #88, May 2007.

Henry Tamburin




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"What I will be discussing this month is money management for the casual, non-pro blackjack card counter, as opposed to those who are making their living from the game. Why the difference? The primary reason is that a full-time player can't take big risks, whereas a part-time player has a renewable source of funds (a job) that allows him or her to approach the game in a slightly different way..."

Read The GameMaster's complete article.


"Take the example of a player next to you who has 11 against a dealer's 10 up, and doesn't want to double down. You urge him to do so, stressing it's the right play. He declines, but offers to let you double on his hand with your own money - so you do it. That seems harmless enough to him, but what if he catches a small card? Now he can't take a second card, yet he never had anything to gain by restricting himself to one hit! So if you double for him, you're reducing his edge on the hand! Is this ethical?..."

Read Renzey's complete article.

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ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT by Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete

"Since last issue, we have been inundated with letters from our readers - many of them about the smoking ban about to take affect. We also have our usual great reporters coming in with their observations of the Atlantic City games..."

Read Scoblete and Paone's complete article.

LAS VEGAS TRIP REPORT by "Ian Macalester"

"Mrs. M and I are red-chip players who made our first trip to Las Vegas only last August, so we were thrilled to be able to pay only $29 plus hotel service and resort fees --a total of less than $100 -- for a week's worth of lodging. We also wound up getting virtually all of our meals comped. What a country!..."

Read Macalester's complete article.


"The days of finding a Las Vegas blackjack game with "FAIR" rules is like trying to find a rare coin on a beach at sunset using metal detectors. In fact, if you venture into Caesars Palace's casino in Las Vegas you'd better get out your "Fair" blackjack detector 'cause you're sure as hell are going to need it there..."

Read Pane's complete article.


"While going thru some papers the other day, I came across a picture from a long-gone issue of "Blackjack Confidential" magazine. The year was 1998; the place was Jean, Nevada. The soon to be long-gone Captain's Landing was the venue. The cast of players at the final table was really interesting. Most of them had a little "comeuppance" due from me..."

Read Vaughn's complete article.

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"The potential field for the SnG events at the Venetian falls into two, pretty easily identifiable, groups. You have the UBT sharks, which are very familiar with the strategies of elimination blackjack, and then you have the Venetian players, who just happen to notice the events and decide to give it a try. Of course, anything can happen in a tournament, so although the experienced players have a big edge, the casual players can pick up some wins as well..."

Read Smith's complete article.

A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH by Monkeysystem

"Most serious tournament blackjack players that have gotten involved with online UBT and Bet 21 tournaments are bored with the Tournament Entry Chip (TEC) freerolls on UBT. They find them to be a blackjack tournament wasteland with crazy, all in bets on hand-one, and splitting sixes against dealer ten cards. Some serious players say they've quit playing UBT freerolls altogether because of the poor quality of play found there, and in the daily qualifiers. I say this is only partially true..."

Read Monkeysystem's complete article.

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"This guide will be helpful to both the casual recreational player and the serious VP student. It can be easily understood and used by the most inexperienced player, and it can fill in some information gaps for the veteran pro. It's perfect for the blackjack player who has been playing some VP on the side, or wants to start doing so, since it gives so much basic information in one compact booklet..."

Read Scott's complete article.


"A bluff is a bet or raise made with a hand that has no chance of winning. The purpose is to win a pot when your hand is not strong enough to do so on it's own. You are essentially representing a big hand when in reality you have nothing. Bluffing is a very valuable weapon to have in your poker arsenal, but you should make sure you use it correctly (and avoid over using it)..."

Read our Burton's complete article.


Check out the schedule of major May and June blackjack tournaments by region in our Blackjack Tournament Report.

Read our tournament schedule.

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