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Answers to Your Questions

I am happy to personally answer any questions you may have about Blackjack in general, Blackjack tournaments, my school or gambling on the Internet. But a lot of those questions have been asked and answered before, so you might want to check out this page.


BLACKJACK

The GameMaster's Blackjack School

Created in 1990 and first published on the Web in 1995, this is undoubtedly the most respected and widely-used course of instruction on winning at Blackjack. What you will learn is how to count the cards, which is actually very simple, yet it remains the primary way to gain an edge over the casinos. You do not have to be a graduate of M.I.T. to do this. And it's all free!

Basic Course - Here you will learn the proper playing strategy for every hand, how to count the cards and how to use the count to vary the size of your bet according to your advantage.
Advanced Course - Additional gains are available from varying the play of your hand according to the count. That, and other tricks of the trade are taught here.


Blackjack Tournament Training

Blackjack tournaments can be very profitable ventures, not to mention a lot of fun, be they at your local casino or an online casino. While it takes a certain amount of luck to win one, there is a lot of skill involved as well. Here you can learn the skills needed to do well at the various types of tournaments out there.

With Elimination Hands - Found mostly online, these tournaments inject an additional element of difficulty that gives the skillful player a distinct advantage. Here we show you how to develop the skill that can move you from just online gambling to online winning. Series is in 8 parts.
Without Elimination Hands - This type of tournament is usually offered by local casinos and may be of two types: "table winner" or "winner take all." We discuss the strategies needed to do well at both. Also in 8 parts.


Counting Systems

While we teach the High-Low Count, there are other systems that can be learned. Here we examine all of the major systems available; discuss their pros and cons and compare their weaknesses and strengths.
8 parts, starting here:


Blackjack Teams

In my personal experience, the most money I ever made at Blackjack was through team play. There are a lot of potential problems with teams, but perhaps I can solve most of them before you even start. Here you'll find discussions on how to start and train a team along with team money management.
All this information can be found here.


Playing Multiple Hands

Playing more than one hand at a time requires some crucial money management principles to keep your risk of loss reasonable. While playing more than one hand can be very profitable, you can't just start throwing chips on the table and expect to win in the long run. Read this first.
3 lessons starting here.


Beating the Double Deck Game

In a general sense, the best opportunity for the average card counter to make a profit are Blackjack games that use two decks. Not all of them are beatable, however so you need a good plan of attack. That's what you'll learn in this series.
3 lessons starting here.


Blackjack Sidebets

Some casinos offer the opportunity to make additional bets on your hand, most of which can never be profitable. Here I cover two that offer the skillful player an advantage:

The Super Sevens bet is covered in Part 1 and the Over/Under bet is covered here: Part 2


Single Deck Blackjack

Most single-deck games these days should be avoided because the house edge is too big to overcome due to 6 to 5 payout on a 'blackjack.'. But that's not true in all cases, so when and if you run across a decent game, here's a plan for beating it.
3 articles starting here.


The Blackjack Test

So you think you know the game? Been playing it for years, you say? Perhaps you're a master of online blackjack? Take this test and find out how good you really are. 4 lessons


The Entire Blackjack Archive

If you want to see basically everything we've published on casino Blackjack and Blackjack online - except for the School - go here. Included are book and software reviews, warnings about games to avoid and dozens of other articles discussing our favorite game. Here's the page.


POKER

The Poker School

At its core, a poker game is one of mathematics just like Blackjack. While using math alone won't necessarily make you a winner, not understanding the math will almost certainly make you a loser. There's a lot of opportunity for profit here, be it online or in your local casino.
Limit Hold'em - Most players new to poker begin here. We have 14 lessons to get you started.
No-limit Hold'em - Often called the "Cadillac" of poker games, Texas Hold'em takes a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. We're at 36 lessons and counting.
Here's the latest.


VIDEO POKER

This is another game where skill is needed to win, so do not confuse it with slots. Here you'll find out how to identify VP machines that you can beat, plus how to beat them. Not all of the games we talk about here will be found online or in your local casino, but you never know what might pop up, so give this section a look.


GAMEMASTER'S SECRETS

The GameMaster's Secrets are not game specific; they cover all of gaming from Blackjack to Roulette and (almost) everything in between for both brick and mortar casinos, as well as online casinos. A few opportunities discussed here are no longer available but that could change tomorrow, so it won't be a waste of your time to visit. Right this way.



I used to enjoy playing Blackjack online until U.S. citizens were banned in 2006, even though card counting does not work at most online casinos. But the rules were so good, combined with sign-up bonuses and other options I had a lot of fun and made a few $$$. Now new online casinos offer progressive jackpot blackjack games here. Much like Video Poker, a progressive jackpot can make a good game even better.




An up-and-coming sports betting site to check out is YouWin Betting where you can find great odds on many popular sporting events and games.

As our "smart phones" get more sophisticated, so do the opportunities for gambling profits. An entire industry in mobile casinos is growing rapidly and is worth exploring because such established names like Microgaming and Playtech are involved.


Gambling, Blackjack and Poker NEWS

Many of these stories will open a new browser. Just close that to return here.



Search GameMaster

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Tell us what you're looking for.


 

Digital Mailbag for February, 2013


Question: I'm playing a 6-deck game with 75+% penetration, the dealer hits soft 17 and double after split is allowed but not surrender. I'm showing a modest profit (about one-half of one percent), even though I play in all counts both plus and minus, mainly because it's a small casino. I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to improve my return on investment?

Answer: A game like that really requires a 1-16 bet spread if you're playing through all counts. I cover that in my book (page 39), which also shows that you should get at least a 1% long-term edge for your efforts.


In case you missed it, the Thoughts and Comments for January is waaay down below the video archives in this column of the page.


Update for February 21, 2013


If I've been a bit slow in getting back to you, it's because I'm undergoing daily radiation treatments for a brain tumor. The prognosis is good, so I'm going to be around for a long time but it does take a lot out of me. Apologies for taking so long.



Longtime readers here know I'm from New Jersey and I don't mind telling you that it's heartbreaking to see the damage sustained by the communities along the "Jersey Shore," as we call it. Thank goodness my family is safe but there are a lot of others who didn't do as well, so if you'd like to help, please donate a few $$$ to the American Red Cross because they know what to do and how to do it. Click here.



A note from The GameMaster: We are no longer producing videos, but much of the same information - specifically the Digital Mailbag and Book Reviews - will continue on a regular basis in written form and will be presented in the space above. All of the videos previously produced are archived below.

The text articles will be presented in this rotation on a weekly basis: Thoughts and Comments (I do not lack for an opinion on many topics, as you'll see); the Digital Mailbag where I answer readers' questions (I try to pick one for this article that has broad appeal, but I'm happy to answer your questions directly via email, so don't hesitate to message me), then a Book Review.

I'll typically move the previous week's article down below the Video Archives in this column and will ultimately move the book reviews to this page. But for the most part, these will not be saved beyond that, so if you want the "latest scoop", check back here every Monday sometime after 5 P.M. Central U.S. time.


VIDEO ARCHIVE







Thoughts and Comments for January, 2013


My book,The (Darn Near) Complete Book on How to Win at Blackjack is selling well, I'm proud to say. Subtitled, "Card counting made easy: Showing not just what to learn but how to learn it," it recognizes that there have been a lot of other very good books written about Blackjack over the last 50 years, but darn few show you how to learn what you need to know to actually go into a casino and win "their" $$$. Of course I already show you how to do that here at no cost so why should you buy my book?

Fair question. Back when I learned to count, we had little knowledge about the impact penetration had on our earnings and there were no computer programs that could accurately simulate "real-life" games and playing conditions. A big part of what I did to prepare the book was run literally thousands of "sims" to examine every aspect of today's games, from single-deck to 8-deckers with a special emphasis on the double-deck game, which I believe offers the best opportunity for making a profit as a full-time "pro" or as a nice part-time job. In all humility, I'll say that my book has the most up-to-date strategies for DD games and a realistic approach for winning at today's six-deck games, all backed up by sound math and statistics.

Today, there are far more opportunities to play good Blackjack games than when I started my counting career back in Atlantic City. There were just two casinos in A.C. at the time and Nevada was basically the only alternative (although we did hit the casinos in the Bahamas with regularity), but today I'm aware of at least 10 casinos that offer very beatable double-deck games in the South and Midwest. And many states are either increasing their number of casino licenses (like New York) or are expanding the games they offer; look at what's happened in Pennsylvania, for example. Competition is good for us counters, so that's why I believe it's an opportune time to publish this.

I had hoped it would be available on Amazon both in soft cover and as a book for the Kindle, but too much is lost in the digital translation, so it's only a "real" book for the moment. For more info, go here.



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