Talk:Blackjack/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

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About how the cards are dealt: Usually, during multi-deck play, the cards are dealt face-up and the players are not allowed to handle the cards. During single deck play, the cards are dealt face down, and the players are allowed to handle the cards. (btw, they're rare games to find, but I've found some single deck games in Reno, Nevada).

Regarding the paranthetical above: Single deck games can be found all over Nevada. Reno, Tahoe, Las Vegas, Wendover... In Vegas, you have to look downtown, or to the smaller places locals go. Blogjack 06:02, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Though many of these are probably be 6:5 blackjack, which should be avoided like the plague. Single-deck 3:2 is rare. - furrykef (Talk at me) 22:00, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Regarding the countermeasures paragraph that was added, it is worth mentioning that this depends on the location of the casino; in Atlantic City it is illegal for casinos to ban card counters, so they rely more on things like using large shoes and giving poor penetration as countermeasures. Actually, some elaboration of the whole penetration issue is probably warranted here as well (the deeper the penetration into the deck before a reshuffle, the more useful card counting becomes--but the tradeoff for the casino is that a lesser penetration means more time involved with reshuffling instead of dealing cards, so they get less money from non-card-counting players). -- Egern

That is, unless (as in poker), there are workers dedicated to shuffling decks.

Are there any casinos that do that at blackjack tables? -- Egern
I've seen it at the Biltmore and the Cal-Neva in North Shore, Lake Tahoe. Gentgeen 23:26, 4 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I removed the following paragraph on retribution against card-counters as I think it is pretty controvesial and needs some verification.

The consulting firm does many quasi-legal or illegal things to discourage counters. The IRS may be tipped off to unreported gambling income. Organized crime may be informed of the identities of the counters; since counters carry large quantities of chips and cash, they are good targets for theft. The consulting firm may arrange for the card counters to be beaten. Since the consulting firm is doing it, and not the casino, the casino is not liable for the consultant's actions. In any event, the consulting firm is very careful that no proof of its activities is available. Such accusations are recorded in various books written by former card counters.

Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 21:30, 4 Jan 2004 (UTC)

To the anonymous user who's been improving this article : Great stuff. I think it be great if you got an account here. Pete/Pcb21

(talk) 17:02, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC) P.S. These in-game shuffling machines sound pretty terrible - may as well play blackjack online in that case!

-- I was wondering if Megami is a synonym for black jack?

This book is mentioned in the article: Ben Mezrich Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions about the MIT Blackjack Teams ISBN 0743249992 --Christopherlin 05:51, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Isn't it possible to play blackjack in a non-casino fashion (i.e. just between two people; or indeed, among several people in a circle, each one out-for-himself)? Doops 06:26, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The usual way that is done is that one players acts as a dealer/banker with some sort of rotation system. There are indian casinos that allow player-banked blackjack and just charge players some sort of fee for use of the facility, kind of like poker. Blogjack 05:37, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The first sentence in the lead is a little convoluted. And why so much discussion of card counting in the lead paragraph? Marlowe 20:23, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"The following rules are beneficial to the player:" is misleading - "beneficial" rules are only beneficial to players who play correct strategy. Most players are harmed by variations that add flexibility to the player since they use them incorrectly. I thought we needed a qualifier, to say certain rules are known to be beneficial to the skilled player, the advantage player, or the basic strategy player. So I added skilled, but it's still a little awkward. --Blogjack 21:27, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Shuffling Machines

According to Business Week, 6/7/2004, Shuffle Master, manufacturers of casino products, ie.: automatic shuffling machines, is one of the fastest growing, publicly traded companies for the second year in a row...Sales of $68M, up 19.8% last year. Looks like we're in for more of the same.

Why is the table for a relatively obscure set of Blackjack rules? I think we should take out that table and replace it with actual basic strategy rules that people can memorize for the most common type of Blackjack.--Dissipate 00:37, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Card Counters and Casinos

FWIW, I knew a fellow who had a degree in mathematics and was successful at card counting in Atlantic City. He never got beaten up, but within three months he was figured out and banned by every casino in the city. -- Cecropia | Talk 02:18, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure I'd call that "successful at card counting". The hard part of counting cards isn't the math, it's not getting caught or not having serious consequences to your getting caught. The real game of blackjack is figuring out what the casino will tolerate and, within those guidelines, still making money. Blogjack 05:37, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Richard Harvey?

Where does Richard Harvey (author of Blackjack the SMART Way and Cutting Edge Blackjack) fit into all this? Many people disagree with Harvey's unconventional methods, while others swear by them (I did win $120 once, myself, but lost considerably more before using the system, and never played much after). I think the matter may deserve some research. - Furrykef 03:04, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I've concluded from enough other sources that Harvey is mostly full of it. :) - furrykef (Talk at me) 22:04, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The burn card

I have an odd question. Why does the dealer burn a card after shuffling? I've heard that this works against card counters, though I cannot figure out any reason why this may be so. It's just one more card whose value you don't know. So what? It may as well be in the bottom of the shoe instead, which you won't reach anyway. It doesn't hurt any more being burned at the top of the shoe than resting at the bottom. So why even bother with burning the card? - furrykef (Talk at me) 02:55, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think its to prove the dealer isn't cheating. At Crown Casino in Melbourne, players have the option to see the burnt card which obviously has no effect on card counters.

You can aask to see the burn card at most casinos, it might tip them off that you are a card counter, but then again not because no good counter would expose themself like that.

The burn is done so that if the cards are marked or the top card was seen or the dealer directed a certain card to the top, the player won't get this advantage, if the guy on first base knows that he has an ace or a 10 coming he has an advantage, and will make a larger bet. --Fieldcommand 04:22, 23 September 2005 (UTC)


Many casinos do not allow people that they recognise as poker players to play blackjack, but of course allow them to play poker.

Eh? Why's this? This isn't clear at all... Evercat 12:54, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Basic Strategy table is wrong!

The table shown is a mix between the single-deck strategy and that of the multi-deck shoe game. For example, in the single deck basic strategy, a player's 8 vs. dealer showing 5 or 6 is Double, not Hit. Same goes for player's 11 vs. dealer's Ace. There are some other mistakes in this table, probably taken from the 6/8-deck strategy. Should I correct the table for the now rare 1-deck game, or change it to the far more common 6/8 deck shoe game? Owen× 02:41, 19 August 2005 (UTC)


I don't quite understand how insurance works. As I understand it, you place another bet, worth half your original bet, that the dealer will get a blackjack. If you're correct, then you lose your original bet because you lost, but you get twice your insurance bet, so overall, you get and lose nothing. If you're wrong, and you beat the dealer, then you lose your insurance and gain your original, so you gain the equivalent of half your original bet. If you're wrong, and you don't beat the dealer, then you lose both your insurance bet and your original bet, which means you lose the equivalent of one-and-a-half original bets.

I don't necessarily say that the section needs rewording - it might just be my incompetence, so I'll leave you to figure that part out - but if someone could clarify that for me that'd be great. Neonumbers 08:03, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I tried to re-write the Insurance section, but it came out just as confusing. Your understanding is correct though.--Fieldcommand 04:07, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks.  :-) Neonumbers 22:51, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Is Insurance any clearer now ? --The Gnome 01:32, 6 October 2005

Here's another look at Insurance. Its a side-bet that has about a 7% advantage for the House. Card-Counting can predict when the Player should take the bet, as there are an excess of 10-valued cards remaining in the shoe. In fact the card-counter can have quite an advantage. This has become known by the House due to the Griffin reports made availible. As such, taking insurance, and winning, is a signal that a Player is counting cards. Its best not to take Insurance even if counting cards. [[[User:ZenTaoKarma|ZenTaoKarma]] 18:28, 5 January 2006 (UTC)]

Isn't all this covered in the article already? The Gnome 08:52, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Whats the reference for it being to the player's advantage to take insurance if there are no tens showing and 7 players at the table? The house edge on insurance is only eliminated if there's a greater than 1/3 chance the dealer has a 10 underneath, and even in 4-deck its only a 64/193 (just under 1/3) probability the dealer has a 10, assuming an always shuffled shoe. And you'd have to play an awful lot of hands to ever see that situation arise in less than 4-deck. Or does this "advantage" just mean the insurance bet has a lower house edge than your regular blackjack bet, so that taking it will lower the overall house edge? Dangermouse29 6:25, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

That's a good point. According to my calculations, even 3 tens showing at single deck is profitable (e=5.4%, like double zero roulette but in your favour). With no tens showing, insurance is worth almost 30% by my calculations (15% of your original bet). But this assumes you can see all the player's cards; I guess this is why you never see face up single deck. At double deck, you would see insurance profitable with up to two tens visible. Perhaps single deck face down is assumed, and somehow you use the fact that no-one has declared a blackjack? Or you are supposed to peek at the dealt cards somehow? Neither of these seems likely. --Mike Van Emmerik 00:41, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

The issue of identifying the players' facedown cards at single and double deck blackjack was addressed and solved once and for all in Richard Harvey's Cutting Edge Blackjack, which contains a method Howard Schwartz of Las Vegas and others in the industry recognized for its ability to unmask the identity of these cards. So decisions regarding whether or not it is wise to take Insurance become acceptably accurate. I believe that book came out in 2001 or 2002. Insurance, in general, is a smart bet only for the advantage player, who can do proper card analysis to determine the dealer's relative likelihood of having a 10 in the hole. Imbalances strongly in favor of the hole card being a 10 are the situations that make Insurance a wise move. Avoiding casino exposure as an advantage player, an issue raised above, is a separate issue and one that should not prevent a player from taking Insurance when it is wise. John Winston (talk) 13:45, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Richard Harvey's Cutting Edge Blackjack is generally considered a poor source. (That's a polite way of putting it.) Objective3000 (talk) 15:22, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

A poor source by whom? The authors whose books were made obsolete by his new innovations and research discoveries? I attended one of his seminars, and I can tell you that I saw his methods work at the table and everyone left highly impressed. In fact, it's the system I use, very profitably thank you, today. I think it's important to let readers make up their own minds. Anyone who faults Cutting Edge Blackjack, in my estimation, has an axe to grind. This is one of the greatest books ever written on blackjack. The years of research are apparent on every page. Howard Schwartz gave that book two great reviews (that's what drew my attention to it), and my understanding is that Howard is among those in the know in Las Vegas. In fact, when I went to his Gamblers Book Shop in Vegas, they told me Richard Harvey's books were the best blackjack books to read. I also see that, on, that many others, players and industry insiders, have endorsed his books. I know, too, for a fact that he's a regular blackjack columnist for well-respected gaming publications. They wouldn't hire him if he didn't have something to say. And I would suggest readers look at Richard Harvey's blog at to get an idea of the progress he's brought to game strategy and the reasons behind the sour grapes on the part of the writers whose books he made obsolete. I read his blog regularly and he's got some very telling card graphic demonstrations of why the old blackjack methods are obsolete. I can see why some of the old guard would be upset by that but that's too damn bad. What matters to players is not petty infighting but what's the most current information, and from what I can tell, Richard Harvey's books are the first ones in years with anything new and exciting to say. We discussed the reaction by the old guard writers to his books at his seminar and I think it's important to document the attempt by the old guard to quash his innovations; their true motivation is apparently financial. I consider myself an intelligent person and advanced blackjack player and I know a good book and a good system when I see one. The history of blackjack must include the anonymous backstabbing that Richard Harvey has been victimized by, by those who do not celebrate progress but fight it in order to continue selling books that reflect the technology, as it were, of older times, of the '50s and '60s. The blackjack concepts of Thorp, Braun, Baldwin, et. al., good in their day, grow antiquated like anything else and players in the blackjack world such as myself have recognized this and sought something new. My God, how can you quote Thorp anyway when the game was a single deck game dealt to the bottom when he wrote his book? It's not been updated since it came out in 1962. Let's tell the truth. There is a great divide now, and it must be documented here, of those who cling to the computer-simulated strategies of the past and those who recognize the achievements of Richard Harvey, whose data was true casino card data, which is more accurate and more revealing than the random number generated pretend blackjack that older methods' research was based upon. You cannot build a precise blackjack strategy on phony pretend computer data and Richard Harvey has proven this beyond reproach. Give the guy some respect. As Howard Schwartz said in Midwest Gaming & Travel in the book review I read, Richard Harvey's innovations have made the game more winnable. That's the quote that drew me to them. The players I met at the seminar and I all seemed to come from the same place. That is, we had grown frustrated with the inefficient nature of the old blackjack systems and were seeking something better, something more effective, and we all agreed we found it in Richard Harvey's books.[User:John Winston|John Winston]] (talk) 17:16, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Wow. Sorry, but Richard Harvey's work is considered very poor by nearly every living BJ expert that has seen it -- old and new. I just read through the site that you referenced and it is typical system-seller nonsense. He appears to not understand basic principles. Or pretends he doesn't to push his systems. It also appears to be the source of some of the misinformation that you posted here today. I'm really not trying to be insulting. It just appears that you attended his seminars and fell for his sales hype. Objective3000 (talk) 17:54, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

You write and speak like a child and never mention details or support your claims with any references or quotes. You violate all the rules, furthermore, on posting comments. I also think you smell like an author who's pissed at Mr. Harvey because he pointed out your books are faulty. If you notice, I supported all my assertions, with references and quotes. I never believe anyone who cannot do so nor do I think it speaks of any kind of ability to reason. And I do not need your lectures. Either talk intelligently, with supported details or go sell your own self somewhere else. I don't think your comments are educational or enlightening in the slightest. John Winston (talk) 21:33, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

The reference to Thorp's methods being obsolete is silly because it implies there's been no progress since then other than this goofy Mr. Harvey guy. There have been huge leaps in progress since Thorp. Beat The Dealer is of historical interest only now; modern counting systems are much better. For Richard Harvey to demonstrate that *his* stuff is the be-all and end-all it's not sufficient for him to dismiss Thorp, he has to best the methods of Arnold Snyder, Stanford Wong, and so on. Read Blackbelt in Blackjack or Knock-Out Blackjack or any of the other standard recent (say, since 1990) books. You will note that (a) their specific methods and assumptions have little to do with Thorp's, and (b) the methods work, if you try them. Harvey is constructing and knocking down a strawman and his students don't know enough blackjack history to notice it. --Blogjack (talk) 03:50, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
And some additional modern texts: Don Schlesinger’s Blackjack Attack, Rick Blaine’s Blackjack Blueprint, Kevin Blackwood’s Play Blackjack like the Pros, and for Spanish 21, Katarina Walker’s The Pro's Guide to Spanish 21 and Australian Pontoon. Objective3000 (talk) 12:02, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm trying to improve the insurance section and I would be happy to discuss my changes. Any feedback is welcome. Dickensmelville (talk) 17:55, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Online countermeasures

Just curious how you know that online casinos shuffle every hand. Do you have access to the source code for the host program, or do you just base this on the lack of correlation of the count and the distribution of tens and aces next hand? I suppose it would be easy at a single deck game, e.g. 6 of spades was seen last game, there was no shuffle animation, yet the 6 of spades turns up again next deal or in a hit card. With multideck games, this would be much harder to spot, presumably. Finally, are you fairly confident that practically every online casino does this? I guess if I were offering blackjack online, I'd shuffle every hand, since it only affects the counters, costs almost nothing to do, and makes it very difficult for smart customers to beat my game. --Mike Van Emmerik 21:24, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

online casinos have a rules section that will state how often the deck is shuffled, IMO it is accurate to say that most shuffle after every hand.--Fieldcommand 04:13, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Basic Strategy guide flawed?

Can someone please verify the basic strategy table? I don't believe that when the Dealer's face-up card is a 7 or 8 you should stand when you have a hard 15 or 16.

You're absolutely right! This was a serious mistake. There was another one there, 6-6 against a dealer showing a 6 is clearly a SPlit. Thanks for pointing it out! Owen× 13:14, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Is anyone able to verify that the soft total table is 100% correct? I've compared it to the table given in Edward Thorp's book, and although I expected some discrepancies, the differences are massive.

Well, you might want to pick a more modern resource, like . Thorp's book is nearly half a century old, and blackjack has changed quite a bit since then. I did correct two obvious errors in the table. Michael Bluejay 00:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Somebody changed one of the soft total scenarios from the correct move to an incorrect move. Namely, if a player has an ace and an 8, and the dealer is showing a 2, the player should double, not hit. However, the difference is very small; if you bet $1000 on a hand and ended up in this scenario, on doubling will gain you about $4.20 more in average winnings. There are two other errors; you should double a soft 19 against a dealer 6, and you should only hit a soft 13 against a dealer 5. I have verified all of the other scenarios independently.

On beat blackjack there is an online version, which calculates exact probabilities and expectations according the each possible card distribution in the shoe. The source code for that program is supplied, so everybody can verify ist correctness. For unknown reasons this link has been removed from the main page.

If you think it's worthy of being included, you can add it back -- especially if it was removed by a non-registered user who provided no explanation. Also, please sign your comments by using four tildes. Thanks, Michael Bluejay 23:52, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Most basic strategy tables that I have seen (for the American and European version) recommend a stay when the player has a soft 18 and the dealer's upcard is 2, Wikipedia's table recommends a double. Also, all tables recommend a stay on all soft hand 19s, while the wikipedia table is the only one I have seen where it recommends a double if the dealer's upcard is 6. Can someone clarify these two situations, and if the table is correct, bring give sources. Thank you. 23:07, 27 April 2006 (UTC)Aryan

The Wizard of Odds charts are correct, and are the definitive source. The Wizard is the foremost expert on gambling math in the world. -MichaelBluejay 00:30, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Beware using basic strategy, which even its inventors admitted is flawed, if you read between the lines. For example, the "Wizard" referred to above says this about his basic strategy (see his web site): "This strategy is simply the best way to play every possible situation, without any knowledge of the distribution of the rest of the cards in the deck." Please note that the post-comma remark indicates that this method assumes a player cannot see the cards having been dealt or is incapable of reading the cards and doing an appropriate job of card analysis. In other words, this method is either for beginners or those who are not very advanced in their skills. I believe Thorp, who introduced basic strategy to the world in Beat The Dealer in 1962 (even though Baldwin et. al. actually came up with the nascent concept in a much less popular book in the 1950s), said it gave players at best a .18 per cent advantage, which is a break-even method. And this was a time when the game was purely a one-deck game and the cards were dealt to the bottom (not shuffled before all cards were seen, as is the custom today). The "World's Greatest Blackjack Book," written by "Lance Humble" (the pen name of psychology professor Igor Kusyszyn) and Carl Cooper at a time when the game was found primarily in a four-deck version (rarely found today if ever), said players would "almost break even" if their basic strategy was followed. This is an admission that their basic strategy was in fact a losing strategy for four decks (or higher). The more honest of today's blackjack writers, I've found, give you the per cent disadvantage basic strategy gives you, which grows with every deck added to the game. In other words, basic strategy is not brilliant math but a deeply flawed, losing approach and any expert on math points this out. John Winston (talk) 14:04, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

BS is not "deeply flawed." It is what the authors say it is. The correct total-dependent method of play without the knowledge of other cards. The fact that it is negative EV does not make it flawed at all, much less "deeply flawed." Objective3000 (talk) 14:52, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree with "Objective" in that basic strategy "is what the authors say it is." I quoted the "Wizard" himself. He admitted his system was only "correct" if you pretended not to see any other cards but those of your hand and those of the dealer. Anyone who feels it's OK to ignore all the rest of the cards at the table in making "correct" card decisions doesn't know anything about card strategy. Every complex card game such as blackjack requires that players factor in all the cards dealt and also a determination of the cards not known (including the undealt cards). "Objective" and the "Wizard" may find a system that ignores most of the cards "correct," but I think most of us would agree that that is correctly labeled a flawed approach. Furthermore, I quoted "The World's Greatest Blackjack Book." I've now found the page you should look at (page 193), if you want to see what the authors are truly saying about basic strategy. I quote: "With the information in this chapter, the house advantage is virtually wiped out. Even if you decide not to use a winning method that involves keeping track of the cards, you stand an excellent chance of almost breaking even in the long run if you play the Basic Strategy." I think any reasonable person with a discerning mind understands what this means. The authors are describing an ineffective, losing system. And all honest old guard writers have made the same admissions. I would be glad to document this issue further if this is not enough proof for "Objective." John Winston (talk) 17:50, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Everyone knows it's a losing system. Everyone. And yes I know the author of "The World's Greatest Blackjack Book" and of course he says it's a losing strategy. But, it is not "deeply flawed" and Igor would never say that. It is what it is. Calling it deeply flawed is an insult to the brilliant guys that determined BS using hand calculators. Objective3000 (talk) 18:18, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I rest my case. People like you are the reason everyone's frustrated with old guard blackjack. You admit it's a losing system and then you defend it as if it's not. If it's a losing system, my friend, in the common parlance, it sucks. Sorry if it offends your tender sensibilities to say so. And, if you know Igor personally, why don't you come clean and tell us what author you are and why you are so short on details, supportive references and quotes and other enlightening commentary? Your persistent name-calling and simplistic attack on the new and support of the indefensible is a sign you, my friend, have an axe to grind. I do not find your commentaries edifying and they violate the rules of posting comments here. Don't tell me your friends are "brilliant" when you admit they came up with a losing system. Wikipedia, I thought, was the repository of intelligent, academic edification, not childlike posting of adjectives akin to "I like it." And, I'm curious: is there a reason you would want to play a losing strategy? It boggles the mind! But you're the genius, after all. Actually what you are is offensive. Don't ask me to respect your friends and their faulty system when you continue to post inarticulate and borderline illiterate attacks on someone you should respect, Richard Harvey. I suppose you'd call a General who loses a war "brilliant." In my book, card strategies are worthless unless they enable players to win. This is the measure by which all card games' strategies are measured, except in the case of your friends, who require we all check our brains at the door. And, by the way, as far as Igor goes, I'm not as mean-spirited as you as to disrespect him. His book was worth reading in 1980 or whenever it came out. But has it been updated since then? I don't believe so. Can't we both agree that a blackjack book, "The World's Greatest Blackjack Book," that talks almost solely about a strategy for four deck games (which don't exist anymore) and doesn't take into account all the casino changes over the past 28 years is horribly out of date? How can you even imply that Igor is current in his approach to the game? And finally, one last important point: the very reason their research is so off is that it was done on hand calculators, as you put it, and did not start with the proper real-world data. You cannot simulate moon rocks and tell us intelligently what it would be like to go to the moon and test real rocks. This is what your friends are attempting to do; claim they're experts on a subject they haven't studied properly. To do any research, you have to start with the right data, data reflective of the subject matter. Blackjack studies of any value need to start with real card data, real rounds of blackjack with real cards, dealt, collected and shuffled by real dealers, not pretend blackjack simulated on someone's hand calculator. John Winston (talk) 21:41, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Your posts are nothing but advertisements and have no place here. That would be true even if they were for a legitimate source. You should take them to a BJ forum. My only point in responding is to warn people that see your advertisements that Harvey and the web page posted are extremely bad sources of BJ information long considered worthless by the AP community. Like many scammers, he claims that all other research is wrong. As you are now just spouting streams of insults, I will no longer bother to respond. Objective3000 (talk) 21:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Really? That's a joke. I tried to add something to the conversation. Your posts have been the personal attacks, without any shred of support. Why the rancor? Cutting Edge Blackjack is encyclopedic in its contributions to the game and in its amply-supported findings. Why you have such a personal vendetta against it and its author is a mystery and the crux of our disagreement. You have no trouble advertising your beliefs but you accuse me, a player, of having advertising in mind when my commentaries are supported and referenced and yours are not. I have nothing to advertise. I am only trying to complete the record on blackjack for Wikipedia, whose information reads as if it was written in the 1950s or '60s. The game has come a long way since then. And by the way, every notable blackjack book that came along claimed to be better than the rest. Re-read Igor's book. He claims his numbers are more accurate than everyone else's because he did more pretend simulations. This kind of hubris is allowed those with something new to say. Just as I winked at Igor's egotistical assertions in that regard decades ago when his book came out, I pardon Mr. Harvey for the same hubris. He has something new to offer and he has to explain why it's better than what came before. If he didn't, people like you would fault him for not supporting his new assertions. That's not "scamming." That's a necessary part of the process. John Winston (talk) 21:58, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

You have to face the fact that Basic Strategy is for "beginners". Even if it is a losing strategy, it leads to the least disadvantage that one can have, given the rules of the game as they currently exist, without keeping track of the cards. If your definition of "flawed" is "losing", then the only way that you would be satisfied with any strategy of this sort (without counting cards, that is) would be if the casino were to change the rules of the game to favor the player instead of the casino. Mamarazzi (talk) 04:23, 19 March 2009 (UTC)


I took out Blackjack Ace Prediction, by David McDowell, 2004. The book is at the very least containing a lot of unsubstantiated and mathematically unsound claims. This has been exposed on Arnold Snyder's website, among other places on the net. Here's a bunch of links:

McDowell's Folly: Commentary on David McDowell's Blackjack Ace Prediction, by Arnold Snyder

Errors in False Key Probability in David McDowell's Blackjack Ace Prediction and Corrections of McDowell's Win Rate Estimate, by Radar O' Reilly

The Win Rate calculation in McDowell's book, by ETFan,

Convexing Calculations for McDowell's Blackjack Ace Prediction Book, by ET Fan

--The Gnome 12:28, 14 November 2005

Just a note from an infrequent contributor/cleaner of the article (variants is my baby ;): Good work to everyone on this one! D.valued 08:14, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Not so good work. One of the above articles was written by a competing author. The second by his wife. The third and fourth by a person that had not read the book. Do not use Blackjack Forum Online as a legitimate source as it is highly political and biased. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Objective3000 (talkcontribs) 20:29, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Split card-counting into a separate article?

This article is huge. Should we split card-counting off into a separate article? Michael Bluejay 06:27, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Why is it called "Black Jack"?

Anyone know? If so, maybe it should be included. 15:40, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

The answer seems to be here:

how stuff works, with a different slant here (can't link because of a spam block!). Since knowledge/history is in the public domain, I'm sure this info could be worked into the article. --Mike Van Emmerik 22:44, 6 January 2006 (UTC)


==Other casino games that are potentially beatable==
Casino games in which a player can get an advantage with sufficiently skilled play and game selection include poker tables, video poker machines, and a few video slot machines. Games such as roulette and craps cannot be beaten with any kind of betting system or strategy, though roulette is potentially beatable if the player can discover a rare biased wheel, and craps is potentially beatable if the player can throw the dice in such a way that certain totals appear more or less frequently than they would with a completely random throw.

This does not concern Blackjack in any way, so I removed it. I might as well add a section on boats to airplane since both are vehicles.

Yup, totally agree. Plus it's already at Gambling#.22Beatable.22_casino_games; I would not object to a "see also" entry pointing there. --Mike Van Emmerik 22:09, 24 January 2006 (UTC)


Is the "Charlie" referenced in this article a standard Blackjack rule? I can't tell from this article. -Itsdannyg 19:50, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Done, but I see that the same could be said about many of the rules. E.g. DAS is common in multideck, uncommon in SD, RSA is uncommon, etc. Maybe there is a better way of conveying this, e.g. listing common rules for the strip, downtown, single/double/multi decks, etc. --Mike Van Emmerik 07:42, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

shuffle tracking

I am troubled by the claim that Arnold Snyder introduced shuffle tracking to the general public. Jerry Patterson wrote about it long before Snyder. 05:41, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Shuffle tracking remained relatively unknown among the general public, and even amongst many advantage players, until the appearance of Snyder's articles in his Blackjack Forum magazine. It didn't help that from respected player and theorist, Patterson changed to snake oil salesman, e.g. his promotion of the unsound TARGET system. (Check out entry in the Glossary of Wong's website The Gnome 08:00, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Jerry Patterson really should be removed. No one in the BJ field respects him and his teachers resigned after he came out with TARGET. See Besides, JPs card clumping has nothing to do with shuffle tracking. Objective3000 21:27, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Be bold Rray 21:43, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't believe Snyder can claim to be the first to introduce or use shuffle tracking. Shuffle tracking was being used in some form by players a long time before writers like Mr. Snyder discovered this practice. I had heard of this practice before he wrote about it, but I cannot recall whether the practioners were writers or were simply being written about. And, in fact, much like card counting, shuffle tracking can be found in many variants. And to respond to a comment above, modern shuffle tracking should include the consideration and detection of card clumps. Shuffle tracking is used to follow the cards through a shuffle, to know what's coming after the shuffle. How can a player know where to put the cut card or know how the cards will proceed after the shuffle if he or she doesn't track phenomenon through first the analysis of the overall card mix and the detection of card clumps, if any, and the determination whether or not they (card clumps) will still be a factor after the shuffle? Low card clumps give the dealer a decided edge, in lowering the dealer's busting rate. A shuffle tracker can make more accurate card moves by adjusting his or her card strategy in the midst of a low card clump (assuming the player chooses to stay at the table knowing this clump survived the shuffle). In a low card clump, the math would change regarding the wisdom of standing or hitting stiffs. You'd hit more than you would in a more balanced mix, no matter what the dealer up card, since even the dealer low up cards would not bust and you'd have to draw to a good score to hope to beat the dealer. Think of it. John Winston (talk) 14:47, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

The gains from shuffle-tracking result from betting more when a play zone is rich. It has very little to do with dealer bust rates or playing alterations. Objective3000 (talk) 15:03, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Really? I challenge anyone to produce research using low card clumping as a model for dealer results. If this doesn't prove the dealer busts a lot less during these protracted periods, then the moon is indeed made of green cheese. Any smart player knows this basic fact. And they see it, they experience this fact at the table. Anyone doing shuffle tracking, therefore, wants as much information about the cards as possible, therefore, to know how to deal with the vagaries, including clumping, which do, in fact, concern dealer busting rates so vital to the player in making smart decisions. In fact, anyone with six decks of cards can test this out at home. Create a long clump of low cards and see what the dealer's overall busting rate is. Does anyone dare suggest this information is not important to the player? Listen, you can ignore what you want, but if you want to play a good game, you factor everything in that you can. John Winston (talk) 17:59, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I have run billions of hands of shuffle-tracking sims and know most of the ST researchers. (See for some info on ST effectiveness.) ST can be highly effective in the right circumstances. However, dealer bust rates and reactions to them have a trivial effect. There are many scam-artists that talk about dealer bust rates as an important aspect in BJ. They do this because most players believe this. Sims prove otherwise. Objective3000 (talk) 18:13, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Ah, so you are a competing author. Why didn't you admit it? No wonder you take such a personal approach to criticizing Mr. Harvey. He's pointed out how wrong you are in your approach to research and it could affect your profit statement. This is ironic. You accuse me of advertising something but it turns out you are the one who are advertising something. But, my friend, a researcher is lazy if he relies upon computer "sims," or simulations, or pretend blackjack. Sims do not reflect blackjack as players know it. You can run a trillion sims if you like and the result will be the same: inconclusive and based upon the wrong data. Cards do not play out randomly. Your sims are based upon the spewing of senseless patterns by your computer's random number generator. Any card player knows there are repeating patterns that occur when real cards are in play. If you've watched the World Poker Tour, they often make casual references to this phenomenon. Mike Sexton will often comment about pairs that come back, hand after hand, from shuffle to shuffle. The repeating phenomena that Richard Harvey has discovered is valid and is noticed by all true card players. This will never come to light when sims are the basis of someone's research and not real cards, dealt, collected and shuffled by real dealers, as is reflective of the game we all know and love. Your sims approach to research produces information that is only possibly valid for online blackjack, which is also based upon a computer's random number generator. Why don't you and all those who are addicted to their computers admit this fact? This should be obvious to anyone who knows how to conduct a proper research study. You must study real data. Not pretend data. A computer needs to be a tool not a crutch in doing research. You can no sooner simulate blackjack and produce meaningful conclusions than you can simulate the rocks on Jupiter and produce meaningful results. Sorry, but you have to do the hard work first, to produce meaningful, real data, which you obviously did not do. It's time for guys like you to be honest. Admit that your sims are the wrong way to do research, the lazy way out, not productive of meaningful data. John Winston (talk) 22:14, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

BE IT KNOWN: The accusations that I am a competing author hiding under an alias protecting my “profit statement” are completely false, out of line, against WP standards, and without a scintilla of evidence. Although I have contributed to well known books, and am mentioned in many others, I have never accepted payment from any of the authors. Objective3000 (talk) 01:41, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Even money

One thing that I didn't see in the article (and I may have overlooked it) is that some casinos will allow a player to take even money on a blackjack rather than the normal 3:2 payout if the dealer's up card is an ace. Willbyr 13:51, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

That's exactly the same as taking insurance, which is why all—not some—casinos offer it. Owen× 18:01, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I see what you mean, but the fact that you don't actually place an insurance bet makes it slightly different than taking insurance. What you're doing is making sure that you win with your blackjack instead of possibly losing your bet along with everyone else if the dealer has a blackjack and you don't take the even money payout. I have only played at the casinos in Tunica so I didn't know if this was a policy that all casinos followed or if some did it and some didn't. Willbyr 04:26, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
You cannot "lose your bet" when you have a natural and refuse to take even money. If the dealer turns up a natural of his own, you do not lose your bet: You are just not paid anything, because it's a tie. If the dealer turns up anything except a natural, the dealer pays you the regular 3:2 before proceeding with the rest of his hand.
That you're not placing an insurance bet on the table does not change the fact that taking even money is indeed exactly the same as taking insurance! The Gnome 15:50, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

No-bust black

No-bust blackjack is the only variant allowed in California cardrooms and thus a very popular there. A section describing this variant would be valuable — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


Can you split J, Q, K since they have the same value? Such as if you get K and a Q, or is it only if they are the same - two kings etc. -- Astrokey44|talk 05:27, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Only if they are the same face. However, showing 20 is highly favorable so it is not recommended. Even if the dealer is showing an Ace, you're odds are greatly lessened by spliting. pattersonc 02:22, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Am I missing something in this exchange? The player can split any pair of 10-valued cards. Example: the 10 of hearts and the King of spades can be split. The Gnome 08:56, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
  • According to THIS site, it depends on the casino. The link also explains other rare split rules. pattersonc 02:22, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Fine, but my point was that the exact-same-rank only rule for Splitting Tens is the rare exception. The prevalent rule around the world is to allow the Splitting of any 10-valued card. (That is, as long as Ten-Splitting itself is allowed! Some casinos forbid Ten-Splitting in order to protect the --casual-- player.) The Gnome 10:16, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, I've been in some casinos in Australia that forbid splitting say a jack and ten, they have to be both jacks or both tens. This despite the fact that usually it is in the casino's favour to allow splitting of tens. Splitting of tens is favourable only when the count is high, and then only against a weak dealer card like a 5 or 6. Most authorities state that it is not advisable to split tens even when favourable, as it is a strong indication that the player is a card counter (if not obviously an idiot). --Mike Van Emmerik 13:03, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Players so rarely split tens that you make take the casino by surprise when you try to do so. The floor supervisor may make up a "rule" on the spot. (S)he doesn't want to appear unknowledgeable. And if you ask, "CAN I split these?", you obviously want to, so the casino might think that "restricting" you is the safer call, even though they'll make more money if they let you split willy-nilly (assuming you're not counting cards). I'm reminded in one of Ian Andersen's books where he got early surrender by carefully phrasing his question: "Can I wait until the dealer checks her hole card before I surrender, or would I have to surrender now?" -MichaelBluejay 03:34, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Minimum bet?

What is the minimum bet a player can make? Dionyseus 09:37, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Depends on the casino/game. where I played it was a $5 minimum -- Astrokey44|talk 15:12, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Indeed; I've never been to a casino where the minimum bet was less than $5. I've also played in an Indian casino which required a 50¢ ante as well as the $5 minimum bet. Willbyr 04:16, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Casino Apache in Ruidoso, NM has a minimum of $3 dlls. Irwin 01:10, 1/5/06 MT

Lowest I've found was $2 at the Diamond's Casino in Reno, NV. CallmeNiel (talk) 09:35, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


Would it be useful to have a separate Wiki entry for Pontoon as separate from blackjack? After all, it is more of a different, independent game than simply the "British version" of blackjack or simply another blackjack variant (I see their relationship as akin to rounders/cricket vs. baseball).

I'm a Wiki newbie and wouldn't mind making this my first article. However, since the blackjack page is a featured article, I don't want to mess anything up. --Hoyapaul 23:25, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree that Pontoon should be a separate article. A good starting point for info is the Wizard of Odds. Don't worry about messing anything up; if that happens, someone else will fix it. You learn by doing, so go for it! -MichaelBluejay 06:01, 29 April 2006 (UTC)


We're told that a blackjack has an ace of spades and a black jack, but the picture shows an ace of hearts. Which is correct? {{subst:uhnsignedIP||23:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)}}

  • The reference you're talking about is no longer valid in terms of the game; any combination of an ace and a 10-valued card makes a blackjack in the game. Willbyr (talk · contribs) 04:46, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Linking my website

I am interested in linking my website to your website. I am trying to sell gaming supplies. You may email me at Thank you Michelle Curtice 12:30, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Please read the rules. You cannot do this. --Dacium 00:44, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Casino Bonus Key to Winning not Card Counting

When Gambling online in the game of blackjack the cards are shuffled every hand at every casino so card counting is useless. The only advantage or strategy you can use is basic blackjack strategy. Land based casino's you can count cards. An advantage of online blackjack play is that you get bonus money offered by online casino's because they realize, that there's no way they can take away land based casino business unless they offer some kind of incentive. This incentive is usually 100% bonus on your deposit and requires you to meet some kind of wagering requirement. By getting a bonus you are essentially gambling with the casino's money for free. By making low wagers every hand say like $2 you lower the standard deviation from the mean (or the amount of money you started with plus the bonus) so if you play using basic perfect strategy since the house edge is usually less than 1% you should be able to maintan moneys close to where you started and meet wagered requirements and still have money left from the bonus the casino gave you thereby never even wagering your own money. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Evolverene (talkcontribs) 17:10, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Favorable Conditions?

The article states "Under the most favorable conditions (single deck, downtown Las Vegas rules)". I believe that actually Las Vegas Strip rules are more favorable for players than the downtown Las Vegas standard.

No, not even close. Also, please sign your Discussion by using the four tildes. Thanks! -MichaelBluejay 08:59, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Remove all the UK Regulations Stuff ?

Almost every country has laws governing how blackjack plays. Because most casinos are so big most casinos have there own whole acts, I know this is true in Australia and alot of other countries. If we let the UK stuff in we really need to let everything in. Maybe there should be a seperate article for UK laws and any countries that get popular. The huge paragraph in the rules section in particular really drags the article down. It is meant to be the general rules of the game, not the rules according to UK law or any other countries law.-- 05:22, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I like the suggestion about moving the information to a separate article. Maybe something like Blackjack regulation by country? Jeff Silvers 09:08, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps simply a page called Blackjack regulation. This article is getting out of hand otherwise. Also there are to many examples in many sections where only generaly descriptions have a place here. Also there is a large amount of 'filler'. For example I don't think I have seen such a bigger section to descripe something as trivial as Insurance wager. Also section on using other peoples hands for profit (i originally wrote most of it!) is just filler. Dacium 10:12, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Using other players for extra profit

This relies on a thing called "backline betting". If this is not allowed, then you can't use the information in this section. Many European and Australian casinos allow up to three bets per box. I'm sure that this would be covered in one of the main blackjack theory books; I haven't played in years and I can't find my texts. Can someone with say Snyder or Uston look up this keyword and find a reference? As an example, this thread discusses the strategy for splitting when you have a large bet and a small bet on the same hand. In effect, for the cost of the small bet, you can make all defensive splitting plays. Like turning a terrible 16 v 10 play into a not so bad two hands of 8 verses 10. --Mike Van Emmerik 23:14, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I think you have misunderstood the section completely. It isn't talking about backline betting nor playing different with different sized bets out. Its talking about getting players to buy bad hands and buying good hands from them. Nothing to do with back betting. What you are talking about (back betting your own bet with a much larger back bet so that you can move the large amount to a single card when favourable) is most definately illegal. Most laws state that a back better has to not be you and not be colluding with you to play the game, nor should you be associated. I don't know the decrease in house edge that would be obtained from implementing it, but it surely wouldn't be enough to remove the house edge.-- 22:00, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Stuff that is missing

What about five card tricks? I don't know the ins and outs of the game, but if you get five cards dealt that equal, or are under, 21, you win. I can't believe this was a featured article when this piece of info is missed. -- Boothman /tɔːk/ 17:51, 10 January 2007 (UTC).

This rule is referred to as "5 Card Charlie". It is not usually offered in major casinos, but it does exist and so it should have a description somewhere. The term "Charlie" was described in the article until the enthusiastic editing done on Jan 6. Mikepelley 23:35, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
5 card charlie is not part of blackjack, it is Spanish 21 rules.-- 05:28, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

No, 5 card-Charlie was available decades before Spanish 21 Objective3000 20:41, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

removing bad links

Most of the external links are of online gambling affiliates. For example is an affiliate with GoldenPalace. If these sites advertise on wikipedia how will other spammers be stopped? I am going to take these links down within 24 hours unless someone replies. 06:23, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

We don't care if a site is an affiliate of something. That's silly. Please don't use this article or the encyclopedia for some vendetta. 2005 09:42, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
As 2005 pointed out, whether or not the website carries an ad for someone else has nothing to do with whether or not it should be included in the external links section here. If we limited all links to websites which don't carry ads, we'd be doing the users of this encyclopedia a disservice. Rray 12:21, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry but is a site that shouldn't be on Wikipedia. It has no unique or special content and it is filled with advertisements. If you do not agree to remove it I will take this discussion to a higher level. (there's no personal vandetta just making sure Wikipedia is kept clean, you can see me on nonrelated articles as well) 14:59, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Being filled with advertisements has nothing to do with it - CNN is full of advertisments too. If you think there is no unique or special content on the site, that's something different entirely, but the edit you made earlier deleted 5 or 6 sites with no explanation other than "cleanup". Multiple editors have kept an eye on this article for a long time though, so you might try being respectful of their judgment regarding these links as well. Clearly someone saw a reason for it to be listed, and other editors saw reason for it to continue to be listed, because it's been here a long time. If you do remove the link, include your reasoning, or better yet, discuss it on the talk page before making a major change like deleting 90% of the external links section. Rray 15:57, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I should have discussed this first. Although the huge amount of spam that is on wikipedia causes a lot of editors to delete external links without going through the process.There's a difference between CNN and a smalltime gambling affiliate. What do you think of the site/landing page? 18:05, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I just looked over the current "External Links" and all of them appear to offer original content that would be useful to someone wanting more info that this article has. They have advertising but it's not in your face and the sites are not built for the sole purpose of serving ads. Obviously, as with any gambling articles, we need to be vigilant, but the current 5 or 6 links look like they're worth keeping. The presence or absence of original and useful content should be the basis for a decision.

I did, however, remove a gratuitous reference from within the article to an external site. I won't mention the site name, but it appeared to be just for ads, and it did not appear to have original content. Simishag 18:28, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Please have a second look at The ads are "in your face" 3 huge ads that cover most of the page. The content in this site is not unique in anyway, there are 1,000's of sites with similar content on the internet. What will be your decision when a similar site posts itself? 19:37, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I found the article on the MIT Blackjack Team and the glossary of terms to be useful. I agree that they are not "original"; the information is certainly available in other places. But that alone isn't the point.

The site provides a collection of this common information in an easy to use format without, IMHO, unreasonable amounts of advertising; the ads aren't any bigger than ads on Yahoo or CNN or whatever. In fact, I'd argue that CNN is worse, since every time I go there, I get a ton of blocked popups. I think your claims of "in your face" and "most of the page" are hyperbole.

If you can find a site that provides all this info without ads, feel free to add it in. You say there are "thousands" of similar sites, so it shouldn't be hard for you to find one that's more acceptable to you. Simishag 20:39, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Here's a quick list of possible sites to add,, and this is just from running google searches for 2 minutes. Are they all valid sites? Why shouldn't they be on this article? Trust me there are 1000's more. I don't think Wikipedia is the appropriate place for such 05:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Why wouldn't any encyclopedia article about blackjack not link to the the most in depth blackjack content on the Internet? The point obviously is you just don't like these online gambling sites, which is fine for you personally, but should keep you from choosing to edit such articles. This is an encyclopedia. 2005 09:37, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Please stop writing irrelevant and misleading personal notes about me having some sort of a vendetta against online gambling sites. It only damages your credibility. Blaming someone of being subjective is easy when you don't need to prove it. I could have used the same argument (with better logical explanation about your motivation) but I don't...As you can see I've been around many topics in Wikipedia and my only concern is that it is kept clean. (an apology will be in place, although I don't expect one).
Back to your point you are saying that if I was to write an in depth site about let's say, it will be posted in Wikipedia? The consequences of that would be hordes of affiliate websites flooding that page. Wikipedia would be a mess and I know we all don't want that. 12:27, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
If there were an in-depth content site on the Internet about 888, then of course it would be appropriate to post in the article about 888. If there were an incredibly detailed website about Berkshire Hathaway or Wal-mart, then that website would be appropriately listed in the Berkshire Hathaway or Wal-mart article too. Saying that the Wikipedia would be flooded with affiliate sites is a logical fallacy called "slippery slope", and the assumption is that you couldn't trust the community to make a distinction between good quality, helpful content, and spam.
By your line of reasoning, any website written about a company wouldn't qualify for inclusion here because it might lead to spammers adding their sites. That kind of reasoning just doesn't make sense. Rray 16:43, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
"Back to your point you are saying that if I was to write an in depth site about let's say, it will be posted in Wikipedia?" Of course it could, quite obviously. Once again, this is an encyclopedia, not something to promote your prejudices. We'll have articles on the Easter Bunny and Charles Manson, and link to significant web resources that cover the topic in more detail than an article can... even if you don't like the topic for some unstated reason. Encyclopedias, including this one, are not a "mess" because they cover topics encyclopedically. 2005 20:07, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Ok, this does make sense. Just tell me this, who decides which links are appropriate and which are not? If an affiliate ads a link and claims it involves a unique content anyone can say it is or it isn't. How is a final decision made? 08:08, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Decisions are made by editors, generally by consensus. Spammers have the ability to add worthless links, but other editors can (and will on sight) remove them. Usually this works just fine, in some cases huge pissing matches ensue. Generally though a preponderance of editors come to the right conclusion. I do think though you need to reconsider your attitude on this. There is nothing wrong with linking to quality websites that happen to be affiliates of something. At same time, sites that add nothing to the article should never be linked to (unless they are the official site of the subject of the article.) WP:EL is the external links guideline. In general it approves linking to quality resources that go over and above articles, while prohibiting links to copied/stolen/useless/trivial/trite/etc sites. 2005 09:37, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, how about which has 17 Blackjack calculators, and 100,000 BJ tables and no casino ads? Disclaimer, it's one of my sites. Objective3000 22:31, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Looks like a great addition to me. I'll add it. Rray 22:48, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I think the link to HowStuffWorks should be removed. The article is filled with errors. I e-mailed a long list of errors to them many months ago to no effect. The Blackjack Strategy link displays a warning to shut down your browser if you click it in the US. It's also just a collection of affiliate links masquerading as news items. Objective3000 12:17, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Can you give some examples of errors in the article? Rray 16:40, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
1. Minor point: History, the article states “The game was still called "21" when Nevada first made gambling legal in 1931. To attract more attention to the game, some casinos offered a special bet: A hand that featured the Ace of Spades plus either of the black jacks in the deck (the Jack of Clubs or the Jack of Spades) would pay 10-to-1 odds on the player's bet.”. Actually, I believe it was called BJ as far back as 1917 and tables with Black Jack pays 3 to 2 go back to 1919. BJ was popular in World War I.
2. “In a Nevada Deal game, the players' cards are dealt face down. The dealer then deals himself two cards -- one face up and one face down. In a London Deal game, the players' cards are dealt face up, and the dealer deals himself one card face up.” Don't know where he got this from.
3. “If the dealer's total is 17 or higher, he has to stay. If his total is 16 or less, he has to hit.” This is not true in most Vegas casinos, unfortunately, as H17 becomes the norm.
4. “Once the dealer has checked and found that he does not have blackjack, players can surrender their hand and get half of their bet back. This option is offered most frequently in casinos outside the United States.” Actually, LS is available in many US casinos (according to Trackjack 172 US LS games) and is extremely rare outside the US – although ES10 and rarely ESR are found outside the US. (ESR is available in Egypt and Russia and Western Africa and was just made available in France.)
5. “Many inexperienced blackjack players think buying insurance is a great idea, but most experts agree that it is a bad bet.” Not for experts.:)
6. “If you're playing Nevada Deal, you'll have to pick up your cards to look at them.” DON’T touch the cards in most Nevada games. This is highly misleading.
7. “Making your play at a blackjack table is not quite as simple as telling the dealer, "Hit me," or "Stand." In a crowded, noisy casino, it would be very easy for the dealer to misunderstand what you say, or hear the play at another table and think it was yours. That's why hand signals are required.” Minor, but actually they are required for the ‘eye in the sky.’
8. “When you want another card, say, "Hit me," and make a brushing or scratching motion behind your cards.” Almost no one voices the command. Slows down the game.
9. “It's a good idea to exchange your cash for chips at the casino's cage before you start playing.” Why?
10. “Casinos are private property. They can throw you off their property for any reason at all, including playing a game so well that they start to lose money.” Depends on location.
11. “To make it harder to keep track of the cards in the deck, casinos soon switched to a multideck game, with two decks shuffled together. Today, most casinos use six, eight, or even more decks shuffled together.” Actually it’s a bit easier to count shoes. And where is there more than eight decks.:) (I think there was briefly one table at the Union Plaza with more than 8 decks 20 years ago.)
12. “They also burn (discard) more than one card, or burn cards after every play.” Well, in some Asian locales they burn before each round.
13. “Usually, the burn cards go into the discard tray, and the player never sees them. This is obviously a major hindrance for the card counter.” No it’s very minor. Just decrease penetration by one card.
All in all, the article is hardly a good source. And unfortunately they are unwilling to correct the errors. Objective3000 18:31, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I think this article could use some links to sites that allow you to practice 21 strategy in a low pressure environment. I would suggest linking to my site, It has no affiliation to an online casino and allows the user to play simulated games without betting (See PLAY tab: In the simulation, the user is presented with the basic strategy table to help them get accustomed to using it for quick reference. A counter helper is also provided for counting practice. Mpackerman (talk) 18:44, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Here's another test. See if you can spot the seven errors in your strategy chart:-) Objective3000 (talk) 19:21, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Might I suggest as an external reference for Blackjack and/or card counting? Objective3000 (talk) 18:14, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I think it's a solid link to a good informational website, so I decided to be bold and add it. The only problem I can foresee is that the book has no author listed, so it might be considered a less reliable link because of that. Rray (talk) 18:39, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Might I suggest as an external reference for the blackjack rules section? The website does have a few affiliate links but on the other hand this Flash blackjack video is quite nice and informative in my opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:25, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Please consider my suggestion to add to Blackjack calculators External links section. There's 3 tools with nice design and friendly interface. Alextlu (talk) 16:21, 6 March 2013 (UTC)