The Difference Between Poker And Blackjack

A major difference between poker and blackjack is the element of luck versus skill. While many people say they are capable of finding a way to win all the time at either game, it is much harder at poker than blackjack.

If casinos are going to be serious about stopping gamblers from card counting, they need to be more thorough in the way they shuffle the cards. A well shuffled pack will baffle most established card counters, yet the casinos think that their system of shuffling quickly brings them more money. This may be true of new customers, but they are likely to lose out to experienced players.

More skill is needed in one game than the other, as you will be playing against other people rather than just the house. In Blackjack it is not acceptable to count cards, but in the other game it is quite acceptable.

While Las Vegas is a well known location for gambling, Monte Carlo is still the most popular place to play and also has the highest prices. There also many other locations around the world to play.

It is important not to get more than 21 or you will go bust. You may need to take a bit of a chance of you are on 11 or 12 as you could end up too low. The higher cards are normally the best cards to have as you can stick with a couple of them. And still have a good chance to win.

While there are good hands, there are also bad hands. These can include pairs of a low denomination, or cards with a gap of more than one. This way you need to hope you get a particular card, which out of a pack of 52 could take some time.

When it comes to playing online, we recommend to play free online first. This will help you to obtain necessary skills before entering real cash action. Search online for websites offering free blackjack sweepstakes for example. Another option is to play Facebook blackjack games. You can also find free blackjack application – just search for “Facebook Blackjack Sweepstakes” to find proper games. Main idea of sweepstakes games is that you may play and n prizes even if you don’t make any payment. This is wonderful option for players to play free and even feel a thrill of real cash game without actually paying anything. Best of luck.

How to Win at Blackjack – Win Blackjack Vegas With "Psychology"

If you want to get tips on how to win at blackjack, then this is the best article for you. This article will teach you the necessary strategies to win blackjack Vegas.

Just like in poker, a player must also have the necessary skills in order to win at blackjack. This is a very popular casino game in which many individuals would love to play. Having the right amount of skills and strategies will allow players to win huge amount of cash after each game. Of course, knowledge on the basic rules of the game is very essential.

There are a lot of techniques and strategies that are needed to be successful in this card game. One of the very important strategies that one must learn is how to understand the psychology in making decisions. This is what most of the players called “blackjack psychology”. This is the main key to attain good results in each of your games.

When you are playing, you should know how to maintain mental discipline so that you can focus on you success. You must always stay firm in your goal to beat the dealer or make him bust. Most of the novices have this belief that they must focus on getting 21. This can be a mistake. The main goal in this game is to beat the dealer or make him go over 21. It does not always mean that you should have a solid card to win. Winning is still achievable with low cards such as 12 or 13 because, chances are, the house will end up busted.

Assuming that the next card will be 10 is a good way to win at blackjack. Majority of the card counts in this game are 10. In fact, 30% of the cards have a value of ten. That is why you should make your decisions assuming that the next card will be a 10 all the time.

In times that you will have a hand that is 17 or higher and if your hand has no Ace, always stay with that neglecting whatever the dealer has. You may end up losing but this one simple rule will always help you in the long run. Another tip is to remember that 12 or 16 are the worst cards because these are bust cards. However, it is still advisable to hit and risk busting when the dealer gets a higher card like 17 or higher than that. If you will not hit, the dealer will most likely win with a hand that is 17 or higher. Making your decisions based on what the house has is the key in winning. This is because your main goal is to beat the house. So, consider always the house cards and base your decisions on it.

As a player, you must also know how to “double down”. This is a strategy that focuses on doubling your bet size with only one extra card after your original two card hand, making your hand to have 3 total cards. You should consider the dealer’s card first before doing this strategy. Double down only when you have a 9 and the dealer has 3 to 6 card or when you have 10 and the dealer has a 2 to 9 card. You can also win at blackjack with huge amount of cash when you double down if you have 11 versus the dealer’s 2 to 10 card.

About Casino Gambling – Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Slots & Craps

Casinos… Think of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, bright lights, ritz, glamour, people winning money, but mostly people losing money! You may be intrigued by the idea of going to a casino but don’t really know too much about them – please read on to learn more about the fun of a night out to a casino…

According to Princeton University’s ‘Wordnet’, a casino is ‘a public building for gambling and entertainment’. Don’t be overawed if you do go, relax and enjoy. You will most likely have the chance to play slot machines or one-armed bandits as they are commonly known and perhaps other games of chance and some skill. One major thing that you do need to be aware of, is the way that a casino will look to tilt the odds in its favour, which is more commonly known as the casino’s “edge”. However, some games such as poker are played with players versus players and in this case, the casino cannot get an advantage as it is not effectively playing. In these circumstances, the casino will take a “rake” on the bets that players make against each other.

If you have ever been to Las Vegas and gone to one of the casinos there, the first thing that you will notice is the fact that they more often or not have the slot machines (otherwise known as ‘one-armed-bandits’ or ‘fruit machines’) right as you go in. This is because they really don’t require too much understanding to play and it’s not uncommon to see people playing these machines for hours on end. The slot machine will typically involve a lever on the side (the one arm!) and three reels with patterns of symbols on, located in the centre of the machine. The reels revolve as you pull the lever and the idea is to generate rows of matching symbols to win, having paid your required stake via the slot usually on the front of the machine.

There may be times when you will play on a machine which will have extra options available for you to use, often giving the illusion that you will have more control over the reels and a better chance of winning. This may be the case over the short-term, but always remember that playing in casinos is fun, but the house always has the long-term advantage. To give you a quick example…if you were to play a game where you had to bet on what number would lie face up after the roll of a die, then you would expect to see the casino pay six times the amount bet for a win, but in fact the casino would pay five times to maintain its advantage.

This system is often found in famous casino gambling games like Poker, Craps, Roulette or Blackjack.

Blackjack has always been played in casinos because players will play their chips against the House dealer with the successful gambler being paid against pre-determined odds (ie by getting a true ‘Blackjack’ which in other words is a two card combination adding up to 21, the House will pay you 3:2, or 1-1/2 times your initial wager). If you play fair, the chances are that you may end up with a profit, but more often than not, the casino will win, unless you count the cards. Card counting is a black art as far as casinos are concerned and if you are caught, you will be blacklisted worldwide! Effectively, because the playing cards are only used once and then discarded, anyone with a good memory and a highly analytical mind can determine their own odds that a certain card will or will not appear again, tilting the odds in his favour.

Poker is one of the most played games in the world. Its popularity has grown massively over the past couple of years and many casinos would not offer a poker game due to the fact that they were limited to taking a rake (as discussed previously). You may be aware that poker is essentially a playing card game were players are dealt poker cards face down, and then take it in turns to place bets (represented by poker chips with a specific value) based on the strength of the cards that they hold, combined with other community cards placed face up in the middle of the poker table. The player with the strongest combination should win what’s known as the pot (the combined bets of all the players for that hand), however one of the reasons that poker is so popular is the element of ‘bluffing’ where a player may actually have a poor hand, but believes that he can make his opponents believe that he has the strongest combination by means of subtle psychology! This can be as subtle as staring one’s opponent into ‘folding’ his cards, or by moving his entire stack of poker chips into the middle of the table – what’s known as ‘going all in’.

Roulette is a classic casino game, whereby a croupier gently spins a perfectly balanced, wooden roulette wheel with either 37 or 38 recessed ‘pockets’ along the bottom edge of the roulette wheel. As the wheel begins to spin, the croupier will roll a small white ball the opposite way with the intention being for the ball to bounce of raised points on the wall and to finally come to rest in one of the numbered pockets. In European casinos, the wheel’s layout features pockets numbered 1 – 36 and alternate between red and black with the number one, coloured red and zero being coloured green. However in American casinos, you are more likely to see a second double-zero 00 pocket also coloured green.

Again the House pays out against set odds displayed on the cloth covering the roulette table. Typically this will offer 35:1 for single number bets where you bet on one number to win, 2:1 for any column of numbers, and evens for any red, any black, odds or evens.

Craps can be the most fun to play and certainly watch. It’s also the fastest game in the casino with often more than 60 bets per hour. Players will wager bets against the casino on the result of a roll of a die, or the series of rolls of two dice. The great thing about craps is that you don’t have to be rolling the dice to bet, you can bet on how lucky you (hope) the guy rolling is going to be, which is why it can be so entertaining. Essentially, the guy with the dice is called the ‘shooter’ and the basic bet in craps is called the ‘Pass Line’ bet, and by rolling a 7 or 11, the shooter will roll a pass line winner, and can play again. If he rolls 2, 3 or 12, these are known as craps and this is a pass line loss. Any other number becomes the shooter’s point and he continues. It really is a fascinating game with many more rules and options.

At the end of the day, a night out to a casino can be wonderfully entertaining, but casinos have learnt over hundreds of years how to make their games very, very addictive. They are quite happy to let you win a little here and there, but they know that in the long run, it’s you that’s going to be making them happy – do take care!

Where I Play Blackjack in Las Vegas, NV and Why

Blackjack routinely offers the lowest house advantage over players as compared to all other casino games off the top. Players can enhance that inherent gambling advantage further by applying very accurate basic strategy play and insistence on playing only those games that offer player-favorable rules. There's a plethora of variation between game rule-sets and table conditions and these directly affect the mathematical player expected value (EV) which ultimately translates to enhanced winnings / minimized losses over time. Proper game selection can easily reduce house advantage to.5% or less for the conscientious player who employs accurate basic strategy decision plays for a specific game and set of rules. Blackjack also provides one of the best venues to accrue comps for gamblers interested in playing the comp game; wise use of certain comp accrual tactics can increase real dollar value expectation and provide a means to keep losses to a minimum when including the values ​​of potential awarded comps.

It's impossible to overemphasize the importance of learning basic strategy for those interested in enhancing the value of their blackjack experiences. It's the foundation of all efforts to beat the game for both novice and professional players. Basic strategy play is based on literally billions of computer simulated hands to arrive at proper hand play decisions regarding standing, hitting, doubling, and / or splitting pairs against a given dealer's upcard. Those players who might be interested in becoming serious students or professional blackjack players will learn that further advancement in learning advantage play methods (eg card counting) is pointless without a solidly grasped knowledge of basic strategy. Memorization of specific basic strategy play is not difficult, especially for those who are interested in increasing their expectation at the blackjack table. As a new player in the process of learning these systems, basic strategy charts (specific for specific games and rule-sets) are available in countless books and on the internet; These are also available at most casino gift shops and or player's clubs in Vegas. Using these at a live Vegas blackjack table is perfectly acceptable and common and is encouraged for novice players. With minimal time and effort at using and memorizing these basic strategy hand decision play charts, proper play will become second nature. Remember that there are some variations in given basic strategy play depending on the number of decks in play and the specific rules in force at a given table. There's also a "generic" basic strategy chart that is utilized to cover all games and rules; this version is not as accurate as specific charts for specific games and conditions but is far superior to those proverbial "gut" play decisions. Keep in mind that use of perfect basic strategy play will not put players in a position to have an advantage over the house; the casinos will still have an edge over players in virtually all games except a few 3: 2 payoff single deck games (which are beyond scarce in Vegas these days).

What are the blackjack rule sets / table conditions that enhance player expectation? I routinely play 6-deck (6D) shoe games that don't use continuous shuffle machines (CSM's) with $ 5 – $ 25 dollar minimum bet conditions. Keep in mind that games with higher minimums ($ 25 and up) MIGHT have comparatively better rule sets for players than lower minimum tables; Players should scope the better games out at all denomination minimums. The minimum rule sets / conditions (ultimately rendering a house edge between.25 and.42% off the top in 6D games and involving accurate basic strategy play) that I seek out in Vegas include ..

Base games = 6D shoe games, $ 5 – $ 25 minimums, 1 – 12 bet spread variation (x minimums), 75% penetration, no CSM's; 2D pitch games, $ 5 – $ 25 minimums, 1 – 6 bet spread, 60 – 65% penetration.

Rules Lowering House Advantage / Increasing Player Expectation (EV):

– Insist on 3: 2 payoffs on naturals (blackjacks); adds + 2.5% EV; Players cripple their blackjack expectation off the bat if they play tables with either 6: 5 (there are tons of these in Vegas now, particularly 1D games) or even money payouts on naturals. One of the single biggest errors unknowing, average players make is electing to play these games if they're concerned about value.

– DAS (doubling bets allowed after pair splits); adds + 0.14% to player expectation. There are plenty of games offering this rule in Las Vegas.

– S17 (dealer stands on all soft seventeen hands, eg A, 6 etc.); adds + 0.20% EV vs H17 games (dealer hits all soft seventeens); There are a few Vegas casinos who offer this rule, though most games are H17.

– LS (late surrender offered; allows player to surrender hand and half their original bet with certain 2-card totals against specific dealer upcards AFTER dealer checks for blackjack); adds + 0.075% EV. There are a very limited number of games in Vegas that offer this rule, but they're locatable. Often this particular rule is not posted at tables so ask when you approach for play.

I don't play 6D blackjack games in Las Vegas unless it offers all the above rules unless there is a specific set of other rules or promotions that drives the house edge down. Obviously, the above games are few and far between and you may consider this an anal approach … I just adhere to this axiom (you don't have to). I agree that blackjack should be an enjoyable, "fun" experience; It's simply neither of those for me if the house advantage off the top is insurmountable over time. I have found the above 6D rules / games with some consistency at the following Vegas casinos (keep in mind that you may have to play $ 15 – $ 25 dollar minimums to collectively locate the above rules at a given table; additionally some of the properties may require these minimum bet levels for players to even get rated for table game comps, which can potentially add significant real dollar value to player expectation / EV):

– MANDALAY BAY (Strip)

– MGM GRAND (Strip)

– MONTE CARLO (Strip)

– TREASURE ISLAND (Strip)

– TROPICANA (Strip)

– RED ROCK (Off-strip)

Notice there are no Harrah's properties on the above list. Be aware that there are changes to blackjack game rules with some regularity which requires players to seek out current info just prior to a trip and then scout and confirm derived information upon arrival. Excellent sources (modest subscription fee required) for blackjack game conditions in Vegas (and elsewhere) is Current Blackjack News (CBJN) or Trackjack. Be advised that the above 6D games are typically easier to find and play during the day on weekdays than on more crowded weekends. When conditions are more crowded for any reason, the better games are more difficult to find and obviously more difficult to find a seat at. Further, the casinos traditionally increase table minimum bet levels as demand increases and on evening shifts.

There are other additive rules (in addition to and including S17, DAS, and LS rules) that some casinos offer that reduces their advantage and increases EV;

-RSA (resplitting of aces after initial split); adds + 0.06% EV; variations are RSA3 (resplit only once to make three hands) and / or RSA4 (split twice to make 4 hands total). The designation UR refers to unlimited resplits.

-D3 (player allowed to double down on first three cards); adds + 0.23% EV.

Casinos that have recently offered S17, DAS, RSA, and LS (all at $ 25 dollar minimums or less) and house edge of.26% include;

– MANDALAY BAY (Strip)

– MGM GRAND (Strip)

– MIRAGE (Strip)

– MONTE CARLO (Strip)

– RED ROCK (Off-strip)

– TREASURE ISLAND (Strip)

– WYNN (Strip)

Two "sister" off-strip casinos that offer H17, DAS, D3, LS, RSA3, and UR with initial house edges of.25% are;

-BIGHORN *

-LONGHORN *

* Note that the current rules at the above two locales involve H17 (dealer hits soft seventeen); the cumulative advantage gained by including RSA3, D3, and UR more than offsets the H17 disadvantage (vs S17) to arrive at a playable house edge with accurate basic strategy play. It should be noted that the above two off – strip casinos offer exceedingly minimal glitz and glamor (like..zero) but they do offer decent blackjack rules and very low minimums. I like them both even though I realize Bruce Willis or Britney Spears won't be there.

Other rules that can enhance player expectation but are seldom (if ever) found in Vegas casinos are;

– DSA (doubling after ace splits); adds + 0.10% EV

– 21S (suited blackjack pays 2: 1); adds + 0.56% EV

– BJ2: 1 (all naturals pay 2: 1); adds + 2.28% EV

– 6 (player's unbusted 6-card hand; automatic winner even against dealer blackjack); adds + 0.10%

– ES (early surrender allowed; allows player to surrender hand and half of original bet BEFORE dealer checks for their potential blackjack); adds + 0.63% EV; this rule hasn't been offered for several years, beyond rare.

As mentioned earlier, more decks in play results in increased house advantage over players. Single – deck (1D) games in Vegas with reasonable rules and 3: 2 payoffs are extremely rare these days and essentially nonexistent on the strip. In times past, a player could play even or have a slight edge over the house in 1D games with 3: 2 payoffs, reasonable rules, and application of basic strategy. In Las Vegas presently, most 1D games offer 6: 5 payouts on naturals; You might as well ride up the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel and toss cash off the observation deck. My most current info indicates there are 4 downtown (on Fremont street) casinos that offer single deck games with 3: 2 payoffs;

– EL CORTEZ

– BINION'S

– FOUR QUEENS

– Western

The 1D games at the above downtown locations are all H17 but due to use of single decks (though they usually only deal out about a half deck before reshuffling) the house edge for all these games is 0.18% and thus playable for a basic strategy player . As a sidenote, if any players employ any type of advantage play techniques (eg card counting, etc.) the pit and eye-in-the-sky surveillance crews may ask them to leave at these games (or any game, anywhere if they 're not adept at camouflage / disguising play). Just be aware. The El Cortez has been referred to as the Sweaty Spaniard for years and there's a reason why.

There are some playable two-deck (2D) games in Vegas; simply playing a 2D game vs 6D adds.25% EV off the top. Theoretically a player can sacrifice some other rules as a tradeoff to arrive at a reasonable / playable house advantage range. A 2D game with base rules of S17 and DAS only provides a house edge of.19%; two strip locales where these games have been offered recently are;

-MIRAGE *

-LUXOR *

* both have $ 25 minimums

Recently the following off-strip casinos offer 2D, H17, DAS, and RSA games for $ 2 – $ 10 minimums and a house edge of.35%;

– ARIZONA CHARLIE'S BOULDER

– STATION CASINOS (BOULDER, TEXAS, SANTA FE, PALACE, AND SUNSET STATIONS)

– GREEN VALLEY RANCH

– RED ROCK

– SILVER NUGGET

– WILD, WILD WEST

Player expectation from blackjack play can be enhanced by taking advantage of short-term promotional games / buy-in incentives, blackjack matchplay or free ace coupon plays, and by employing comp accrual tactics. Info regarding blackjack promotions may be found in casino newsletters / mailers for players club members or on Las Vegas gambling info websites. Some occasional short-term blackjack promotions include 2: 1 payoffs for naturals, payoffs on tied blackjacks (vs dealers; normally a push), increased payoffs for suited blackjacks (usually 2: 1 or 3: 1 payoffs) or specific card combinations for player 21's (eg 7-7-7 or 6-7-8). Blackjack matchplay coupons (usually 5,10, or 25 $ denominations) are historically worthwhile to low-midlevel gamblers and usually valued at approximately 50% of face value for basic strategy players. Free ace coupons are also a valuable coupon to collect and use; player's club 'funbooks' are available at many casinos and can reduce expenses (and thus add to EV) if players put these to use. These coupon and funbook sources can significantly enhance EV particularly for low-medium level gamblers. Contact me for some info regarding coupon / funbook sources if interested. Additionally, accruing comps at blackjack can at times mean the difference between winning vs losing sessions or trips depending on bankroll and wager levels. Signing up for player's clubs and casino e-mail website subscriptions is a must for being able to obtain awarded comps. Specific tactics to employ at the tables include enhanced initial buy-ins (buying in for more than you intend to lose or gamble with), increased wagers when pit crews or floor people are watching / recording your gambling levels during actual play, and any number of methods that slow down the speed of the game and thus the number of hands / wagers per hour. Additionally, it's suggested that players develop a relationship with a specific table host at specific casinos where they choose to play; often it's good to select a host of the opposite gender in my opinion. At some casinos (usually not at Harrah's properties), floor reps and pit bosses can award meal comps for table play. Developing a friendly, "ask-for" relationship with blackjack pit personnel and previously mentioned hosts can go a long way toward enhancing real-dollar value of player expectation when playing. Some of these casino staff members are people, too.

Any discussion of blackjack should at least address bankroll management elements. Play with money that won't affect your daily life if you lose it. Staying too long at any table to recoup losses is both common and foolhardy. I seldom stay at a given table beyond 1 hour for several reasons; this time is extended only when experiencing a particularly good winning session or other important factors. There is a plethora of info regarding what's known as Risk of Ruin (ROR) charts which outline betting ramps and bet levels with a defined starting bankroll. Some of these aspects are quite detailed and are usually restricted to use by serious, professional players. If players are interested in becoming a serious student of the game, there's a massive amount of pertinent info on the web and within the pages of many books. Avail yourself of this info and over time you will be able to discern the credible info sources (there's some misleading and inaccurate info out there, of course). For those interested, contact me and I'll provide a decent info starter list.

The present economic downturn Las Vegas is enduring has resulted in a general trend of lower table minimums to a noticeable degree in several casinos. We could speculate that, in order to attract more patronage, the gaming entities might offer more short-term promotional games with player – favorable rule sets in addition to these observed lower table minimums. We'll see.

Cheers ..

Charles Higgins