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How to Win at Blackjack With 10 Legal Methods

In this article I am going to summarize ten legal methods to beat blackjack. Before I do, I want to remind the reader of some methods that definitely do not work. These include progression systems, timing/discipline, looking for hot tables & dealers, lucky charms and many others. Pseudo-science and mythology are prevalent in many casino games, but blackjack has a mystique that somehow brings out the idiot-potential in the most educated of players.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
February 2, 2017

Conspicuously Absent: Pai Gow Poker

For years I have looked at the popular game of Pai Gow Poker (PGP) and scratched my head. How can it be beat? For example, hole-cards are often exposed by sloppy dealers, but seeing one (or even a couple) of dealer hole-cards does little to help the advantage player. Card counting is not possible (the deck is shuffled between rounds). For edge sorting, the success of the sort usually relies on key cards, for example, AKQ for 3CP, AKQJ for MS, AKQJT for BJ. What are the key cards for PGP? Is tracking the joker enough?

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
October 21, 2013

Eight Common Mathematical Misunderstandings

The casino industry is built on mathematics. It starts with probability theory and goes on from there. Concepts like variance, hold, house edge, odds and theoretical can each crash a casino’s profits. Advantage players understand mathematics. They find errors and pounce. It is not just a question of games having weaknesses, it's a relentless search for an edge. These edges can come in many forms.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 2, 2012

Dealing in an iDEAL World

I'm back from Las Vegas. I planned on leaving one afternoon open to walk through as many casinos as I could with camera in hand. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Still, I managed to find three more examples of iDEAL shufflers with discard trays positioned strategically in front of them. I spotted a hole-card at each of these games. Note that the shufflers are inset to the tables, unlike the pictures in the previous post about this shuffler, thus proving that it's possible to screw things up even after getting things right.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
July 27, 2012

7 Reasons to NEVER Count Cards

The very first thing people think about when the topic of beating casinos comes up is blackjack card counting. The reason is simple - card counting is everywhere in our culture. For example, an Amazon.com search on books written about "blackjack card counting" returns 182 titles. Even more amazing, a Google search on "blackjack card counting" returns 363,000 results.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
January 25, 2017

Dragon 7 and Panda 8 Known Card Play at Baccarat

One of the most persistent and powerful methods used to beat baccarat has been to use the knowledge of the rank of exactly one card in the shoe, (see this post). A "known-card" AP patiently counts down the shoe until their card reaches the window where it is eligible to be dealt in the following round, that is, the card is one of the next six in the shoe.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
February 13, 2017

Card Counting the Knockout Baccarat Side Bet

Baccarat side bets that consist of a group of related wagers have a history of big game protection problems. A team of card counters targets the side bet by dividing up the individual wagers among their group. When a team member wagers on his particular side bet, the rest of the team follows by betting on the same side bet. In this way, each member of the team gets the full effect as-if they were counting every side bet on the layout.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
January 15, 2017