Blackjack in the Gulf

Are you a blackjack player near coastal Louisiana or coastal Mississippi? If so you might just find your blackjack games at brick and mortar casinos beginning to show the effects of the two month old BP oil spill.

I am in no way saying that blackjack or gambling is more important than the animals or ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico that are being affected by the continuous flow of oil. Those animals and those ecosystems are way more important.

But as the summer tourism season gets underway coastal areas who rely on tourism will find that they are feeling the pinch of the oil spill in another way. It is likely that tourists will be choosing other destinations for their summer plans, which will hit areas hard. This will be an especially hard hit to areas that are still recovering from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

So what does this mean to blackjack fans in coastal Louisiana and costal Mississippi?

As tourism in those states and in those areas begins to show the affects of the BP oil spill in the form of a reduced number of tourists, one of two things could happen in casinos in regards to their blackjack tables.

One thing that could possibly happen is that casinos implement more 6-5 payouts at blackjack tables to help boost their profits. Or they could start using rules that increase the house’s edge, such as allowing the dealer to hit on a soft 17. Such steps to try to wring as much money out of blackjack players could increase their profits somewhat, but in the end, I think, it will drive blackjack players away.

On the other hand, casinos in coastal Louisiana and Mississippi could put forth blackjack games with player favorable blackjack rules, such as Charlies and doubling on any two cards. Blackjack players would flock to take advantage of such rules, and the casinos can bring in a profit from their accommodations and the breaks they take playing slot machines.

As the summer rolls in we will all see how tourism is affected by the oil spill, and blackjack players will see if they should in fact plan a trip to those coastal area casinos or to casinos in other areas. But if you do visit coastal Louisiana or Mississippi do not visit the beaches—I have heard it smells like burnt melted crayons.


I know that I have said that I am not much for blackjack variations. For me side bets that hurt a player’s blackjack odds just do not seem like a good idea. But I have found a blackjack variation with a rule that can increase a player’s blackjack odds without the nasty side bet.

This variation does not have an actual name like Switch or Perfect Pairs. This blackjack variation is only a variation because of the addition of the Charlie rule. Otherwise the game is the same. See, no side bets.

A Charlie in blackjack is when a player is dealt a certain number of cards and still has a hand total of less than 21. When a play has the right number of cards for a Charlie, he automatically wins no matter what the dealer has. You can see why I like this variation.

There is a Five Card Charlie, a Six Card Charlie and a Seven Card Charlie. And each one is simple to understand. A Five Card Charlie is made up of five cards whose hand total is less than 21.

Playing in a blackjack game that acknowledges Charlies can increase your blackjack odds. A Seven Card Charlie will lower the house edge by 0.01%, while a Six Card Charlie will lower the house edge by 0.16%. But the Five Card Charlie is the best one. It will lower the house edge by 1.46%.

Unfortunately not every casino offers blackjack games that will allow a Charlie hand to win. The best that you can do is check around in the casinos near you to see who allows Charlies and when they do.

This is one blackjack variation that I can get into since it can increase my odds and take away from the house edge. If you find a blackjack table that allows for Charlie hands to have an automatic win, then you need to sit down and play a few rounds.