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How To Win EVEN MORE Blackjack Tournaments - Volume II
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by The GameMaster

Every month, I'll be posting an article which will, I hope, make you a better Blackjack player. Naturally, the question follows: Just who am I to say I can make you a better player? My background in Blackjack began in Atlantic City in 1978 where I learned, by attending a four-session school how to count cards. That led to considerable involvement with Blackjack teams and travel to a lot of places to take the casinos' money. After the liberal rules in Atlantic City were dumped by the casinos, my Blackjack-playing days went dormant for some time. I'd do the occasional trip to Reno or Las Vegas, but it wasn't until casino gaming came to Missouri in 1994 that I got back into Blackjack with both feet. Now I live close to four casinos, can play as much as I want and can tell you - with first-hand experience - how to win at Blackjack. My Website is


If your team is using or planning to use the "big player" (BP) approach, the development of a proper betting schedule is a bit more complicated because you will have two players at the same table much of the time, so that brings what we call "co-variance" into play. If you, either as an individual or as a team, play two or more hands at the same table, the outcomes of those hands are linked. For example, if the dealer has a natural you’ll probably lose all of your hands and if the dealer busts, you might win all of your hands. Co-variance in a big player situation is less critical than when you’re playing two or more hands on your own because the presumption is that the big player will be making a bet that is many multiples of the bet his team player (the counter) is making at the table, but you must still account for it.

As an example, let’s say you have a team consisting of six counters, one big player and a bankroll of $20,000. The plan is to call in the BP to a table when your advantage is 1% or higher (a TC of 3 in the Hi/Lo count where the casino has an initial 0.5% edge), so we know from my previous article in the BJI that the big player should bet 1% times 0.75 = 0.75% times $20,000 = $150. If the table minimum is $5 or $10, there’s not a big problem because my assumption is that the counters will seldom, if ever, make a bet above the minimum in order to avoid attention from the pit. Of course, the count may be higher when the BP is at the table, so $150 would be underbetting if your advantage is, say, 2.5% (a TC of 6), which calls for a bet of $300. You basically have two choices: the first is to have the BP change the bet size as the count changes – which can tip off the pit critters – or have the BP make the same size bet, regardless of the count. The second choice, which is the superior choice in my not-so-humble opinion, means you will be overbetting at times and underbetting at other times, but having the BP "flat bet" all hands really cuts down on the suspicion by casino supervisors. What we need to do is find some sort of happy medium in order to make the most profit while taking on the least financial risk associated with that effort.

Planning the BP’s bet schedule requires...

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