Online Casino Directory

Online blackjack is one of the most popular online card games out there on the Internet. Granted online slots and online poker are up there in popularity, but they do not have the odds that online blackjack does. I mean you cannot beat a house edge of only 0.5% when using perfect basic strategy.

That being said, players obviously need a place to play online blackjack. And not just any place either. Online blackjack players need a safe, secure and reputable place to play. So I introduce you to is home on the Internet to some of the most sound online casino reviews that I have read. Their writers do not only say ‘This is a fun place to play.’ Their writers will research online casinos and then bring their readers reviews of the most reputable to make an online casino directory.

These reviews will tell players about where an online casino is licensed and regulated out of and what casino group owns them. They will talk about the software, the games and the graphics. They will also discuss the customer support staff of the online casinos they review. An online casino is only as strong as their support, and that is something recognizes.

On the fun side of their reviews, their writers will talk about the Welcome Bonuses, other bonuses and player rewards clubs. These are in-depth reviews designed to help players find the best place to play online blackjack. And by best I mean safe, secure and most reputable.

But does not stop at reviewing and offering an online casino directory. They also offer tips and news related to favorite online casino games. There is a whole section, Online Casino Suite’s blackjack page, which focuses solely on blackjack. It is there that online blackjack players can find quick resources and news about blackjack.

AC Tropicana Pays Out Another $5 Million

I am sure you all recall last month when the Tropicana in Atlantic City had to pay out $5.8 million to Don Johnson. It was only one of a handful of huge blackjack wins he had that amounted to $15 million winning streak around the Atlantic City casinos.

Now another blackjack player has made it big at the Tropicana. I do not have the winner’s name as it is not the Tropicana’s policy to name who their big winners are; it is their way of protecting the winner’s privacy. However, if the winner reveals their own identity, well that is their own prerogative, like how Don Johnson revealed himself to be the winner of the $5.8 million from playing blackjack back in May.

The latest winner at the Tropicana blackjack tables won $5.3 million. Not quite a Don Johnson, but pretty close. That makes for $11 million in just around a month that the Tropicana has had to pay out to blackjack players as a result of their high stakes blackjack tables. And despite the need to hang on to and make money, the Tropicana does not look to stop offering high stakes blackjack:

“That is just how it goes sometimes; if you get more, you can win more. We have a strategy of offering the most aggressive and highest table games limits in the Atlantic City market, and we are not going to change that. If someone wants to take the shot, we will take the action,” said the Tropicana’s President and CEO, Tony Rodio.

Online Blackjack Bonuses at Win Palace

I love bonuses. Bonus dessert, bonus savings, bonus anything. But when it comes to online blackjack, I love bonus money. There are a couple of bonuses for online blackjack players at Win Palace that have struck my fancy.

First there is the Welcome Bonus for Blackjack. Win Palace does offer a standard Welcome Bonus but it is aimed dominantly at online slots. Thankfully they created an online blackjack bonus. Starting with a new player’s first deposit, a 100% deposit match bonus worth up to $500 can be awarded. That deposit can be claimed ten times, which is a total maximum amount of $5,000. The bonus coupon WINBJ must be turned in before making any of those bonuses though.

After new players are done claiming their ten Welcome Bonuses for Blackjack they can hope on board for the weekly bonuses at Win Palace. Win Palace will theme their weekly bonuses to jazz them up and make them a little more fun. There is one bonus for online slots and another for table games—naming online blackjack. Here is the current week’s rundown of online blackjack bonuses:

Any deposit gets 110% (BETS1)
A deposit of $100 or more gets a 152% bonus (BETS2)
Deposit $200 or more and receive a 200% bonus (BETS3)
Deposits of $350 or more get a 240% bonus (BETS4)

Any of those bonus coupon codes can be used during the week, up to 40 xs. Coupon codes have to be turned in before making the deposit. Turning them in after will not get you your bonus. Also all bonuses have a wager requirement of 30 xs. Add together your deposit and your bonus money and there is the amount for the wager requirement. Naturally you can play online blackjack to meet that wager requirement.

Win Palace is lively with their weekly bonuses and it is worth checking back with them.

Hand By Hand Basis

Do you give much thought to what your odds of winning in blackjack are on a hand by hand basis? I am going to guess probably not. Nothing wrong with that. Most blackjack players are looking at the overall odds, which is smart. But there are some blackjack players have some misconceptions about the odds of winning.

Just to rehash in case you are joining me here for the first time, the odds of winning a hand of blackjack, a single hand mind you, is 44%. The dealer has a 48% chance of beating you, and the remaining 8% is made up of pushes better known as ties.

Some of the less informed blackjack players think that their odds would change from hand to hand. This is not really so. The odds of winning are based on the rules of the game. And the rules do not change from hand to hand. And the rules of blackjack are set so that the house has the edge.

Now I know you might feel like arguing card counting, and while card counting can give players an indication of if the remaining cards are running rich in high or low cards, it still does not change the rules of the game. Regardless of whether the cards are running high or low the same rules for doubling and splitting or when you bust are still the same. This is how the odds of winning a hand are the same regardless of whether you are playing blackjack online or in a casino.

So keep that in mind when playing blackjack. But do not let it ruin the game for you. Blackjack strategy will help you make the most of your hand. Stick with your strategy. While it will not impact odds, it can hit the house’s edge and cause you to lose less money.

Are CSMs Fair in Blackjack?

It is a question I hear fairly often: Are CSMs fair to use in blackjack? CSMs by the way are Continuous Shuffle Machines. Most blackjack players hate them. The ones that do not hate them learn to dislike them once they understand what they do. Blackjack players who count cards particularly hate them.

When a CSM is being used at a blackjack table, the dealer will collect all of the cards that were just used in the last round and pop them into the CSM. The CSM then immediately shuffles the just used cards back into the deck. At no point is there a stack of discards at a table that is using a CSM. It is the lack of discards and the constant shuffling that makes blackjack players hate CSMs.

But to answer the question, yes, CSMs are fair to use in blackjack. We may not like them, but there is nothing anywhere that says that they cannot be used. Sucks, right? Right.

Online blackjack players really do not have much to say on the idea of a constantly shuffled deck. But that is because the RNG used in online blackjack games creates an effect similar to a CSM. There are no discards in a game of online blackjack. At the beginning of a new round the RNG will pull at random the two starting cards of the player from all possible two starting cards; and will pull at random the dealer’s up card from all possible up cards for the dealer to have. Each card that is dealt is dealt from all possibilities. This is a similar effect to a CSM since the cards from a previous round are not removed from the possibilities.

Casinos can use that similarity as a means to back up the idea that it is fair for them to use a CSM. But at the end of the day, CSMs are fair game to be used in a casino no matter how much players do not like them.

Win Palace’s Online Blackjack Bonus

I am into exploring new things. Originally this might have been limited to blackjack variations and blackjack strategy, but now I am going to take a look here and there at different online blackjack bonuses. Why not? America is heading towards online gambling whether the nay-sayers want it to or not. It never hurts to get familiar with what is being offered out there when it comes to online blackjack.

Today we are going to take a peek at what Win Palace is offering new online blackjack players.

Naturally Win Palace is offering a deposit match bonus. They are giving new online blackjack players a 100% deposit match bonus worth up to $500. Not excited? How about if they make it redeemable ten times? That means that new blackjack players can receive a maximum of $5,000 from this Welcome Bonus. And it is all for online blackjack,

The way it works is new online blackjack players must create their player account at Win Palace. Then they have to click over to the cashier section of the website, and then click the Redeem Coupon button in the tool bar. It is here that players enter the Blackjack Welcome Bonus: WINBJ. Then simply click redeem and make a deposit. Players can repeat this process nine more times for a total of ten times.

Like any bonus there are some restrictions. For one, this is a playing only bonus. This means that the bonus money is not withdrawable and will be deducted from the player’s when they do make their first withdrawal. A withdrawal cannot happen until the wager requirement is met; that wager requirement is to wager the combined total of the deposit and bonus twenty five times. Blackjack and Perfect Pairs will meet the wager requirement. Other games such as Roulette, Craps, Baccarat and more will not count towards meeting the requirement, and playing them will void the bonus. In short, stick to playing only blackjack until the wager requirement is met.

$15 Million Blackjack Winning Streak

Do you remember that guy I talked about recently who won $5.8 million from the Tropicana in Atlantic City? Yes, it was that unnamed guy. Well that unnamed guy is no longer unnamed. He is Don Johnson from Bensalem, Pennsylvania. He is also the CEO of Heritage Development LLC. Heritage is a software company that specializes in betting computer assisted software. That software is not for blackjack or any other casino game but for horse races.

It was Johnson himself who stepped forward to reveal himself as the unnamed blackjack player who ruined the Tropicana’s profits for the month of April. But the Tropicana is not the only casino in Atlantic City that Johnson has hit with his outstanding blackjack strategy, that he refuses to reveal by the way and no small wonder he will not. Although he will say that card counting is not a part of his strategy, and that his entire strategy is based on knowing the game and its math.

“They [the casinos] beat most people in the long run because the average person will not have the bankroll. But I have my own bankroll. If you can take the swings, you are going to win. You also have to understand the math,” Johnson said when asked about his strategy. When it comes to Johnson, he started wagering $25 per round fifteen years ago. Now he is up to sometimes $100,000 per round. Players do not need to start with $25 per round when they are getting started in blackjack, but the point here is that Johnson started out wagering only a little before slowly working up over the years.

Johnson has had two other wins in the millions within the last six months. One of his wins was for $5 million at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. His other big win in the last six months was at Caesar’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino for $4 million. Throw in a few other large wins and it brings Johnson’s total to $15.1 million.

Blackjack Side Bets: 21 + 3

Today we are going to look at another variation of blackjack. Thankfully this one is rarely found in the online blackjack sections of online casinos. Today’s variation of discussion is 21 + 3.

The idea behind this one comes from an attempt to combine blackjack and poker, to somehow bring two of the most popular casino table games together. In 21 + 3, the 21 stands for the blackjack side of the marriage and the game’s main highlight, while the 3 represents the Three Card Poker variation of poker.

When playing, the blackjack player has to place a side bet, which is usually around a dollar on average, as well as place a wager for the actual game of blackjack. Once all wagers are made the dealer will deal the cards. In order to win the side 21 + 3 wager, the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card must make up a flush, a straight, a straight flush or a three of a kind. So long as those three cards make up one of those poker hands, the player receives a 9-1 payout.

It sounds simple enough, but like all side bets in blackjack variations, there is no way for the player to impact the outcome of the side wager—the part in which the two player cards and dealer’s up card make one of the hands from Three Card Poker. It is all chance. As a result the house edge is higher.

In blackjack the house edge, if you are playing according to basic strategy, is 0.5%. That makes it the lowest house edge on the casino floor. But the side wager portion of 21 + 3 is 3.2% in a six deck game. Since the two portions of the game are separate from one another they have separate house edges. The difference between 0.5% and 3.2% is harsh. It is for reasons like the difference in house edge that I say to avoid blackjack variations with side bets.

Hot vs. Cold Dealers in Blackjack

Even if you are not a slots player I am willing to bet you have heard of hot and cold streaks. It is when a slot machine is either paying out often or is paying next to nothing, respectively. I have crossed paths with a number of beginner blackjack players who smirk at slot players, believing that they are playing a game that is above hot and cold.

Guess again!

Blackjack is not above the hot and cold phenomenon. It relates to the dealer. When a dealer is hot is winning more than he is losing; and a cold dealer is he is not winning as many hands. Obvious which dealer you should want to be playing with right?

Like with slot machines, there really is nothing a blackjack player can do if they find themselves with a hot or cold dealer. Not that you would want to give up a cold dealer and all those opportunities to win.

What do you do when you find yourself with a hot dealer though?

Finish the round you are playing, and then take your chips and find a new table. There is nothing that says you have to play at only one blackjack table or at the same blackjack table. You can hop around. So if you find yourself at a blackjack table with a hot dealer, leave!

It may not always be immediately apparent that you have a hot or cold dealer. The trick is in observation. Watch the rounds, see how the dealer does. If he is winning more it would be a good idea to find another table; and if he is losing more often then pull up a chair and play some blackjack.

Card Counting No-No in ‘The Hangover’

Wow, talk about irony. Last Friday I wrote a piece on using a pretty woman as a distraction when counting cards, and then I watch ‘The Hangover’ for the first time the next day. There you go, my blackjack playing friends, proof that distraction with a pretty woman works at the blackjack table.

Okay, so it was written that way, but it is still perfectly viable. It at least shows you how such a thing would work.

But while watching ‘The Hangover’ I noticed something else about that scene at the blackjack table: Zach Galifianakis as Alan Garner is making a big card counting no-no: He is exhibiting outward—and let’s be honest, easily recognizable—signs that he is counting cards. Viewers can watch his lips move as he does all of his counting math in his head. And that is a big problem.

While card counting is no actually legal, casinos are private businesses that do have a say in who they will or will not serve. They can ask you to leave. Which is exactly what they will do if they catch a player counting cards. This is why all advice about blackjack and card counting says to practice, practice, practice until you can count through multiple decks with distractions around you.

Counting like Alan Garner in ‘The Hangover’ is not going to help you to win $80,000 plus. It is a good thing they planted Stu and Jade to be a distraction because otherwise it was likely that Alan would have gotten busted by the casino staff and tossed out.

The lesson here is to not do things that happen in ‘The Hangover.’ You do not want to pull your own tooth out and you certainly do not want to get booted from a casino because you a no-no for not practicing enough with your card counting. Practice!