Lots of people find this website for all kinds of interesting queries. They basically type blackjack questions into Google and the other search engines and find my site. Unfortunately, not all of there questions can be answered completely by the results that come up. So I'm adding this page to do questions and answers about blackjack with my readers. They're not well organized, but with any luck, they might be interesting.
One common questions I come across is about the legitmacy of online blackjack. I've written an article dedicated to this very topic here: Is Online Blackjack Rigged?
Learning how to add the values when counting cards is one of the 1st things you should do if you aspire to be a card counter. The skill you need to develop is the skill of recognizing combinations and their totals, instead of trying to add up single values. For example, most counting systems count a 3 as a -1 and a 10 as a +1. So if you see someone with a 10-3 for a hard 13, you'll know automatically to count that hand as a 0.
At the same time, when someone has a 10-10, you'll know to count that as a +2 without thinking +1...+1...that's +2...
We describe the Red 7 Counting System in detail here: Red 7 Counting System. 2's through 6's are counted as +1's, and aces and tens are counted as -1's. Red 7's are also counted as +1 and black 7's are counted as 0's. The Red 7 Counting System is a classic example of an "unbalanced card counting system", the purpose of which is to eliminate the need to translate the running count into a true count.
A hard hand is a hand without an ace (which counts as 1 or 11), or a hand with an ace where the ace has to be treated as a 1 because treating it as an 11 would cause the player to bust. So a "hard 12 in blackjack" is simply a hand that totals 12 and doesn't have an ace in it. The basic strategy for playing a hard 12 in blackjack can be found here.
We recommend that players looking for blackjack online tournaments have a look at Ultimate Bet. They're a well known poker site, but they're also probably the leading site on the web for online blackjack tournaments. Playtech just announced that they're discontinuing their multiplayer blackjack tournaments, and Get21 shut down recently too, so there aren't too many options left for the online blackjack tournament player.
Someone found my site for "Ken Smith's contrarian strategy". Put simply, this is Ken's theory about tournament blackjack that it's often the appropriate strategy to do the opposite of what most of the other players are doing. If they're all betting big, you should bet small, and they're all betting small, you should bet big. Bet ranging is a major part of tournament blackjack strategy, much more so than in poker even.
The answer to "Why should I split in blackjack?" varies according to your hand and the dealer's hand, and honestly, a lot of time you shouldn't split your hand in blackjack. For example, if you have TT, you shouldn't split, because your hand is so excellent that your expectation is better standing on the 20. You usually won't split 55 either, because a hard total of 10 is a pretty good hand, and you wouldn't want to trade a good hand for 2 bad hands, would you?
In fact, that's the question you should ask every time you're deciding whether or not to split your hand in blackjack. "Why should I split this blackjack hand?" The correct answer is almost always going to be because you'll be making 1 hand into 2 better hands. If your going to take a good hand and make it into 2 bad hands, don't split.
Or just memorize the basic strategy rules for splitting hands and don't worry about the why so much.
We have an extensive article about ways to cheat at blackjack, but we stated it there and we'll state it again here. We don't recommend cheating at blackjack in a casino. You'll just get yourself in trouble with the law and the casino. And getting into the trouble with the casino over blackjack cheating is probably worse.
Someone found this site searching for "online blackjack points". I'm not sure what "online blackjack points" meant to the searcher, but in my mind it means 1 of 2 things. Either they're looking for information about blackjack card counting systems and want to know which cards are worth how many points, or they're looking for casinos who provide player points to blackjack players. Our casino section isn't finished yet, but someday...
I don't have a lot of advice about beating blackjack automatic shufflers because you can't count cards in that situation. And shuffle tracking doesn't seem like it would work against an automatic shuffler either. The best you can do is master perfect basic blackjack strategy and get the maximum comps possible. The book Comp City has some great information about how to get the most comps for your money.
There used to be several magazines for blackjack players. But some of the better magazines and publications for blackjack players have stopped publishing, like Blackjack Forum and Blackjack Review. The poker magazine Bluff devotes half of every issue to tournament blackjack though, and so far it's been a pretty high quality publication. (Although it is pretty slick for my tastes.)
I believe that Stanford Wong still published Current Blackjack News too, but I haven't read it. I understand the magazine is aimed at card counters.
You can count cards in the Indian casinos I'm familiar with in Oklahoma, but I don't think you'll gain nearly enough of an advantage from it to make up for the ante they charge on every hand. (Maybe if you're betting a lot on every hand, but even then, I don't think it's going to work.) I don't know if card counting in Indian casinos is treated any more or less harshly than card counting is treated in any other casinos though, which I would imagine is what the searcher was looking for with that query.
Steve Forte is the guy who wrote the book on dealer tells in blackjack. He operates a website called "CardCheaters.com", and one of the products he makes available there is a series of videos called the "Gambling Protection video series". It's a set of movies aimed at casino management types, and their goal is to help management catch the bad guys who are trying to take the casinos' money.
If you want to know how to play a better blackjack tournament, you need look no further than our section on blackjack tournament strategy. If you want to know "how to play good blackjack", just memorize the basic strategy for blackjack presented on this site, and then learn how to count cards.
Keith Taft is a blackjack player we profiled in this article: Keith Taft. According to information we saw at BlackjackInfo.com, Keith Taft passed away in August 2006.
I'll add more questions and answers soon.
You may also be interested in learning about Blackjack Skills, overcoming Blackjack Weaknesses, Blackjack Myths and the constantly asked question: Is Online Blackjack Legal? We also have information about The SAFE Port Act of 2006.