Thursday 27 November 2014

Card Counting isn't illegal, but you'll get kicked out for winning too much

For some successful gamblers, getting ejected for being too good is an occupational hazard. One second, they’re pulling up to a casino in a complimentary luxury car service, and the next second, casino security is hustling them out the back door like some common shoplifter.

That is basically what happened to Justin Mills, a 23-year-old videographer and high-rolling blackjack player from Silver Spring, whose ignominious exit from Maryland Live landed on YouTube and caught the attention of the Baltimore Sun.

His crime? Card counting, which is not actually illegal but enough of an infraction in the eyes of casinos that afterward, Maryland Live sent Mills a letter, school-principal style, telling him he was not allowed to come back to the Arundel Mills casino.


Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, told the Sun that card counting that is done “using intellectual capacity to keep track of cards is not prohibited by state law or regulation.” What would make it illegal is if the gambler has mechanical or electronic help. (Yes, there is an app for that.)

Many professional and amateur gamblers defend card counting, and it has been elevated to a righteous cause for some. Andrew Bloch, World Series of Poker veteran and former MIT Card Counting Team member, said at a conference last year that “our ability to think is what really makes us human, and it separates us from other animals, and when you kick someone out of a business or a country or whatever just because that person is exercising their ability to think, to me that’s an affront to civil rights.”

Not all his fellow gamblers feel that way. Often the folks who catch card counters for casinos are former card counters. Casinos supplement their know-how with hi-tech surveillance systems. Maryland Live alone, as my colleague Josh du Lac reported, has “license plate recognition systems, tracking software to follow certain people through the casino and 360-degree, high-definition cameras that record with so much clarity that surveillance operators can zoom in after the fact.” Card counters, righteous or not, don’t stand much of a chance. Just ask Ben Affleck, who was asked to leave the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for card counting. Affleck told Details magazine later, “I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack. I mean, the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at the casinos should tell you something about casinos.”

In Mills’s case, he did not seem that upset about his card-counting allegations. Instead, he objected to what he considered his manhandling by casino security and posted a video of his involuntary departure on YouTube for all to see. Heather Stone, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County state’s attorney’s office, told the Sun that a District Court prosecutor “reviewed the evidence and found it to be insufficient to proceed with criminal charges.”

Friday 21 November 2014

How to Count Cards in Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most commonly played gambling or casino games in the world, with a simple rules of getting more points than the dealer without going over 21. One of the reason why it is so popular is because instead of totally relying on pure luck, there are actually skills involve while playing a blackjack games.

There are 2 most commonly known strategy for Blackjack, the first is the basic blackjack strategy of some calls it as strategy card just like the image below:

The second strategy, which is today's topics, the card counting. Often the first impression you will get from other will be, "you must be a mathematics genius of able to remember so many numbers of cards, especially when there are so many decks in it" 

 Actually it is incorrect, you doesn't need to remember all the card numbers. Here is how you should do it.

First, separate all the numbers into 3 different groups and put a value of +1, 0, -1 to it
  • Cards 2-6 has a value of +1
  • Cards 7-8 has a value of 0
  • Cards 10-Ace has a value of -1
Now when you had that in your mind, every time a card is played on the table, you add the number (either =1, 0, or -1) to all of the other numbers. After a few rounds, you should able to grabs the idea on what type of cards most likely still remaining in the deck. Example, the higher the number means most likely the most remaining cards consist of cards from 10 to Ace.

Of course, in most casino, they don't just play 1 deck for blackjacks, usually is around 4-8 decks. What you should do is just divide the card number you calculated with the number of decks, with that you will get what's called "true count"

But, do be alert that, there are 2 things you need to be cautious before using this strategy
  1. This strategy doesn't work on table with auto shuffling machine, where all played card is put back to the machine to be reshuffle. 
  2. Although card counting it's not illegal or cheating, but most casino will politely ask you to stop playing if they found out that you are counting cards. So do be cautious 
There is it, it's that simple, but it still require practices, do it using those online live casino first, as no matter how much equipment you used to count cards, they won't know about it.

Happy Learning & Happy Winning!!

Monday 17 November 2014

Sic Bo Tips

Sic Bo Tips are ample online. If players read these tips and follow them religiously, they can be sure to win big whether it is at the casino, or through playing Sic Bo online.

In order to win at Sic Bo, players need to know the standard payouts and look for casinos which offer the highest odds. The higher the payout rates, the lower the house edge, which will result in a higher winning rate and a greater profitability for the players. When payouts are low, the house gain more advantage and the players have less opportunity to win. 

Choosing the right table

A standard table has a numeral of 60-to-1, which yields a house advantage of 15.28%. Hence, keep an eye out for tables offering 65-to-1, which are the best since it only gives a house edge of 8.33%, doubling the possibility of winning for the players. If the chosen table gives players a good feeling, try to get a place near the middle, where players can reach the entire layout. If a position in the center is not available, wait and watch the game until there is a vacancy.

Knowing the limits

Before playing, analyze the minimum and maximum limits. Bets should correlate to the size of the available bankroll during that session. If playing a progression, maximum should not be low as it prohibits effective double wagering.

Knowing when to stop

The house always win. Odds are always tilted in the house’s favor, so the longer the player stays on the table, the high the probability of losing. Set a limit for yourself and play only the fixed and intended number of rounds and when the time’s up, tell yourself it’s time to go.

Friday 14 November 2014

Blackjack Rules and Strategies

While it is true to say that gambling is all about luck and that the players have little to no chance of deciding the outcome of their bets, players, however, can find a fairer chance of winning against the house in the game of blackjack. With a few basic knowledge of the game, anyone can be a master in no time.

Understanding the house advantage
The house always has the edge. In this game, the house has the advantage because the players need to decide on their cards without knowing what the casino’s hole cards are. Even if the casino busts, the player which bust losses too.

Understanding the player advantage
Players can decide to raise or lower the amount of bet each hand. The house, however, cannot continue hitting after it reaches 17.

Blackjack ratio for House vs Player
When players get a natural (21 on the first two cards), they are paid 3:2 by the house. However, if the house gets a natural, players only lose their bets.

Quick tips:
  • A 17 is always better than a 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16, because it reduces the tendency for you to push (and bust).
  • Large cards in the decks are advantageous to the players. Not only do the players stand a higher chance of getting naturals, the dealer is also more likely to bust is stiffs since he doesn’t get to choose when to hit.
  • If you get 11, double if two cards, hit if more.
  • If you have two Aces or eight, always split.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Top 10 Crime in playing Blackjack

By Henry Tamburin

Many players make horrible mistakes when they play blackjack. Here’s a list of the 10 worst crimes a player can make.

The crime: Believing blackjack is all luck.

If you think that all you need is a little bit of “luck” to win at blackjack, I strongly suggest that you stop playing the game. Blackjack is not all luck. The reason? The odds of winning are not the same from one hand to the next because the removal of a card from a deck of cards will affect the odds (sometimes in your favor, other times in the dealer’s favor). It’s true that on individual hands, or even a single playing session, luck can influence the outcome, but in the long term, the player’s skill will overtake luck and a player can win more than he loses, or at the minimum, play almost even with the house.

The crime: Not using basic strategy.

In was back in 1956 when a group of scientists changed the game of blackjack forever when they statistically determined the absolute correct way to play every hand. This strategy became known as the basic playing strategy and by using this strategy to play every hand, the house edge can be reduced to a minuscule 0.2 to 0.5% (depends on the rules and number of decks). The bottom line is this: blackjack is not a guessing game. If you hold a 10-5 and the dealer shows an 8 upcard, there is one and only one correct play. It doesn’t matter whether you are playing in a Midwest casino, in Las Vegas, or Atlantic City, or whether you just lost five hands in a row, or just won five hands in a row, or whether you are winning a lot or losing or lot, the correct play for this hand is to hit. To be skillful at blackjack means you almost have to be robotic and make the same correct plays according to the basic playing strategy hand after hand after hand. You don’t hit 10-5 against a dealer 8 sometimes and stand othertimes. You always hit. If you can’t or won’t accept this, then you should hang up your playing cards and play a different game because you will never make it at blackjack.

The crime: Betting on side bets.

Nowadays, casinos have implemented side bets on blackjack tables as a way to increase their revenue because their edge on the game itself is razor thin. These side bets are cheap; usually, it only costs a buck to make them and they come in all different flavors: Pair Square (bet that you will be dealt a pair); Lucky Ladies (bet that you’re initial hand totals 20); Bonus Blackjack (bet that the dealer or player gets a blackjack), and so on. The problem with these side bets is that the house edge is high and although you might get lucky and win a few side bets, in the long run you’ll be donating a lot of money to the casino coffers by making these bets.

The crime: Using a Progressive Betting System.

The majority of blackjack players use some form of progressive betting which means the player sizes his bet based on whether he won or lost the previous hand. The problem with progressive betting systems is that they don’t change the casino’s edge one iota. The odd of winning the next hand in blackjack isn’t dependent on what happened in previous hands (it is influenced by which cards were removed from the deck). So a player who uses a progressive betting system is deluding himself into thinking he has found the way to beat the house.

The crime: Playing with a Continuous Shuffling Machine.

A continuous shuffling machine (CSM) is an automatic shuffler that randomly shuffles the cards after each round. Many casinos are replacing the traditional automatic shuffler with CSMs. The reason is because when a CSM is used, the house edge remains virtually the same from one round to the next. When a casino uses a CSM, they can also get roughly 20% more hands dealt per hour vs. a traditional automatic shuffler. The more hands that a recreational player faces per hour, the greater will be the player’s theoretical loss. So playing on a table that uses a CSM is a no-no. You should always play where the dealer is using either a traditional shuffler (where about 70% of the cards are dealt from the shuffler before all the cards are shuffled), or in a single- and two-deck game where the dealer manually shuffles the cards.

The crime: Playing a single-deck game that pays 6-5 for blackjack

Many casinos have implemented single-deck blackjack games where a player receives only a 6-5 payoff for a blackjack instead of the traditional 3-2 payoff (a 6-5 payoff means on a $10 bet you would get paid $12 for a blackjack instead of $15).These games are really bad news because the 6-5 payoff increases the house edge to roughly 1.4%. It’s a real crime to play any game where the casino pays only 6-5 on blackjacks.

The crime: Not scouting the tables

The playing rules are not necessarily the same from one table to the next or for that matter from one casino to the next. You shouldn’t just jump into a game without first knowing what the rules are and whether there are better rules on other tables. For example, a table where the dealer hits soft 17 is worst for a player than if the dealer stands on soft 17. Blackjack players should know which rules are player-friendly and which favor the house, and then scout the tables to find the best set of player-friendly rules.

The crime: Playing when tired or inebriated

How many times have you seen the bleary-eyed player playing blackjack? Or the player that has consumed one to many alcoholic drinks. If you are tired, you shouldn’t be playing blackjack because you will be making too many playing mistakes. Ditto for consuming many alcoholic drinks while playing. Playing blackjack skillfully requires concentration and anything that disturbs your concentration will result in you losing more money (that’s why drinks are free to players).

The crime: Not paying attention to the cards on the layout

Not too many recreational players pay attention to the cards on the layout. That’s a big mistake. For example, if you have seen a disproportionate number of small cards vs. large cards in the first couple of rounds after a shuffle, now would be a good time to bump up your bet slightly. On the other hand, if you see nothing but aces and faces in the early rounds, you should definitely not increase the size of your bet.

The crime: Not getting rated

You should always get rated when you play blackjack. The reason? This allows you to receive comps from the casino (free meals, free rooms, free shows, etc.). It cost you nothing to get rated. Just sign up for their player’s card and show it to the dealer every time you play. Your level of comps depends upon your level of play. You can always check with a casino host to find out what kind of comps you will be eligible to receive based on your betting level and the amount of time you play. The comps you receive will lower your cost of playing and sometimes they will turn a negative expectation game (where the house has the overall edge) into a positive expectation game (the game with the comps will result in the player having the monetary edge). The point is that you won’t get any comps unless you get rated, so don’t miss this opportunity to get your share of the billions that casinos give away annually to players just for playing.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Roulette Strategy and Tips: D'Alembert Strategy

Roulette Strategy and Tips

Roulette is the easiest game to play at the casino, besides also being one of the easiest games to understand. Roulette is different from other table games in terms of the chips used. The roulette chips are without value denomination. The roulette table comes with six to eight sets of chips, all of different colors, and each set contains 300 chips. When chips are being purchased, the player gets his own color and the value of the chips depends on the buy-in divided by the number of chips. The dealer will then place a token on top of the stack to indicate the value.

A typical American roulette wheel comes with 38 numbered slots: 1 to 36, one zero slot, and double zero slots. The following table shows the available bets and the probability of winning according to the US rules of a double zero roulette:

Probability Win
House Edge
1 to 18
19 to 36
1 to 12
13 to 24
25 to 36
Six line (6 numbers)
First five (5 numbers)
Corner (4 numbers)
Street (3 numbers)
Split (2 numbers)
Any one number

D'Alembert Strategy
The D'Alembert strategy is dubbed the safer strategy as compared to the Martingal and reverse Martingale strategies. This game focuses on arithmetic factors instead of geometry. Hence, instead of doubling your bet whenever you lose, you increase your bet by 1 instead. Since this strategy utilizes an even chance betting system, players can place a bet on an even or odd number, as well as 1-18 or 19-36.

Using this strategy, players should increase the bet by 1 after each loss, and decrease the bet by 1 after each win. The D'Alembert strategy will give you a profit if you obtain as many losses as wins. For instance, you lose on your starting bet of $5 on black. So you increase your bet to $6 on black for the next round, and you lose again, so you increase the bet to $7 on black. You win this round, so you decrease your bet to $6. Using this example, winning as many times as you’ve lost will result in a profit: -5 -6 + 7 + 6 = 2.

For this strategy to work, remember to always walk away when you have had as many wins as losses.