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Card counters versus basic strategy players17 November 2015
A card counter wants games with deep cuts. Few or no other players at the table, and what we might call "fast dealers." (In my book I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack I explain why there really are no such things as a fast dealers.)
For a card counter, the deep cut and the absence of other players are very, very good things. In fact those are the main things in setting up a potentially winning situation. Those deep cuts allow the counter to have strong confidence that his count will be realized with fewer cards left in the shoe. In short, the deeper a dealer deals into a deck or shoe, the better it is!
So what about the rules? Of course, good rules about doubling on the first two cards, splitting and re-splitting, and the dealer standing on soft 17 are nice, but they are not the primary concern for a card counter. One rule that should be followed is that a blackjack pays 3-to-2. Those games where a blackjack pays 6-to-5 are not worth playing. This rule more or less doubles the house edge, which makes beating the game that much more difficult.
On the other hand, the basic strategy player wants the exact opposite of the card counter as follows:
1. Shallow cuts so that a lot of cards are taken out of play which means the dealer has to shuffle more.
2. Good rules that can contain the house edge.
3. Full tables, preferably with talkative players who love to socialize, thereby slowing down the game.
4. Talkative dealers, meaning slow and friendly dealers.
5. Dealers who don’t care that you don’t play your hand as you talk to them or that you play your hand midway through your oratory.
Since a basic strategy player does not have an edge over the house, he wants a slow game; many players and a slow dealer help to create that — as do shallow cuts. If he plays basic strategy, he probably faces about a half-percent house edge. That’s not bad, and it is even better if the player can reduce the number of decisions he faces.
I write for Henry Tamburin's Blackjack Insider, which appeals to card counters, and it is therefore important that non-advantage players realize that what's good for card counters is not good for them. Sometimes this is not clear. When I recommend casinos in which to play I am recommending them for the card counter, not the basic strategy player.
Remember, there are two different worlds of blackjack play: the world of the advantage players, usually the card counter, and the world of the basic strategy player. These two worlds may co-mingle at times but they exist in separate universes. A recommendation for one is an anti-recommendation for the other.
Frank Scoblete’s new book is I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps!
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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