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Frank Scoblete - Good Rules and Bad Rules

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  • Frank ScobleteTo paraphrase Charles Dickens, it will be the best of times or the worst of times -- at the casinos, that is, this millennium depending on which games you play, which rules apply at those games, and how, indeed, you play those games. In just about every table game there are better and worse rules or payouts that can apply. Play in games with the good rules and you have a good chance of winning some money; play in games with the bad rules and you don?t have as good a chance to take home the money. That?s an easy rule to remember for the new year.

    So what should you look for?

    At blackjack, perhaps the most complicated game in the casino, there are a host of different rules, some good, some bad, and some simply awful. Here what you should look for:

    • Good rules/conditions for the ?basic strategy? players:
    • Double on any first two cards
    • Split all pairs
    • Double after splits
    • Resplitting allowed
    • Double after resplitting
    • Resplitting aces allowed
    • Dealer stands on soft 17
    • Blackjack pays 3 to 2
    • Surrender
    • Bonus hands with no side bet
    • Shallow penetration
    • Crowded tables
    Here?s what you should avoid:
    • Bad rules/conditions for the ?basic strategy? players:
    • Restricted doubling, usually on two-card 10 or 11 only
    • No pair splitting allowed
    • No resplitting allowed
    • No doubling after splits
    • Dealer hits soft 17
    • Blackjack pays 6 to 5
    • Blackjack pays even money
    • Bonus hands require a side bet
    • Deep penetration
    • Empty tables
    • Automatic shufflers
    • Automatic continuous shufflers
    • Insurance
    You will note that I put ?shallow penetration? as a ?good condition.? If you read publications geared to card counters or even general interest gambling publications, you?ll note that ?deep penetration? (penetration being how far the dealer deals into the deck or shoe) is considered the single most important factor for success. Deep penetration is what card counters want; the fewer cards behind the ?shuffle card? the better. However, there are only 1,100 card counters, out of 53,000,000 casino gamblers (that?s one card counter for every 53 thousand casino players!) in America. Just about 99.99+ percent of blackjack players do not benefit from deep penetration; just the opposite. Deep penetration means more hands played; more hands played means more money lost for 99.9999 percent of the blackjack players ? and more money won by the casinos. So unless you are among the small elite of blackjack players, you want to play at casinos with shallow penetration.

    Luckily, many casino executives are so frightened that one of those 1,100 card counters might show up in their places that you?ll find shallow penetration in most casinos across the land. That?s good.

    Some of Frank's most popular books can be purchased by clicking one of the image links below:

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