Answers to Common Blackjack Questions with Blackjack Expert Henry Tamburin

Answers to Common Blackjack Questions with Blackjack Expert Henry Tamburin

hi and welcome to our series of
educational videos
that are designed to make you a smarter
gambler. My name is Steve Bourie and
I’m the author of the American casino
guide which is the number one
bestselling book in the US on the
of casino gambling and travel and the only
book that comes with more than one
thousand dollars in casino coupon
If you want to know more about me or my
be sure to visit my website at
In this video we’ll be hearing
from casino gambling expert henry Tamburin

and answering some of the most
common questions that players have about
Henry has written several books on
casino gambling including Blackjack take
the money and run
He also teaches instructional classes on
how to be a card counter in blackjack
and he has a website at
where he publishes a monthly newsletter
all about the game of
blackjack. I’m sure you’ll learn some
great tips from Henry on the basics of
and how to be a better player now here’s
Henry Tamburin
A lot of players ask me
if they can win playing blackjack, the
answer is yes
but you have to use the right strategies.
The first thing that an average player
needs to do is to learn the basic
playing strategy
and that will allow you to reduce the
house edge to less than
1 percent, which is still not a winning
what you have to do next is take the second step
and you have to learn a simple card
counting system. So if you use basic
and you learn card counting you can have
the edge on your side and you can be a
long-term winning player.
A lot of players ask me
if the game of blackjack is the same from
one casino
to another. Years ago that was the case,
if you came to Las Vegas for example you’d
find the same blackjack games within the
casino and also from one casino to the
next nowadays
that’s not true you’ll find some casinos
that use two decks of cards
some use 6 some use 8 and some casinos
the dealer will stand on soft seventeen
and others they’ll hit soft 17, some
casinos will restrict
the hands that you can double down on
some offer surrender, some don’t
and you even have to watch out for the
payoffs for a blackjack
so it’s very important that before you
play blackjack
you go to the casino and you look
at the blackjack table and make sure you
understand what are the playing rules
and what are the payoffs for blackjack
for this particular table that you want
to sit and play.
In the game of blackjack the rules
will affect the house edge against the
and there are good rules and there are
not so good
rules. The good rules for players the
ones you need to look for
are for example the dealer standing on soft 17
rather than hitting soft 17 it’s much
better for a player if the dealer stands
on soft seventeen.
You also want to make sure that you
don’t have any restrictions as I said
earlier on doubling down
ideally you’d like to be able to double
down after pair splitting
it’d be nice if they offered you a surrender
and most importantly you wanna look at
the payoffs for a blackjack
you want to make sure that if you were
to get a blackjack that you’d get paid
3-2 and not 6-5 or even money.
So it’s this mix of rules which is
going to determine the house edge against
the player.
Another thing that players ask me are
which blackjack games should they avoid
I think the first thing you you
definitely need to avoid
is any blackjack game that pays
6-5 for blackjack
and normally you’ll see a 6-5 blackjack
on single deck games the come-on is of
course the fact that the casinos
a single deck game, which is usually a
better game for a player
when they throw in the 6-5 odds it
makes a good game
into a very poor game. Another kind of
blackjack game that you should avoid
are the ones that use a continuous
shuffling machine.
You’ll know that the automatic shuffler is
a continuous shuffling machine
when you simply watch what the dealer
does with the discards
In a normal game of blackjack the dealer will take the discards and put them in
a discard tray,
but with a continuous shuffler after
every round is done the dealer will take
the discards
and she will place them back into the
continuous shuffling machine
and normally these machines hold from
four to five decks
of cards so when you think about it when
you’re playing with a
continuous shuffling machine the cards are
going around and around from the table
back into the machine and then they come
back out again
and it just keeps cycling and when
you’re playing with a CSM
there’s never a pause in the action
because the dealer doesn’t have to do
any shuffling doesn’t have to change out
shoes doesn’t have to change out cards
so what that does is it exposes your
bankroll to the house edge 20 percent
more per hour
and therefore a player’s
hourly loss is going to increase by 20
Everybody asks me what’s the biggest
mistake that blackjack players make
I think the number one mistake is they
do not use the basic playing strategy
but instead use some kind of a faulty
playing strategy
and by faulty there are all different types
and kinds
probably the most common is a lot of
players like to follow the strategy of the
where they would always hit if they have
16 or less and stand on 17 or more
just like the dealer does and that’s a
strategy that’s gonna doom you to lose.
So you want to use the right strategy
which is the basic playing strategy
the second biggest mistake that players
make is they use
a progressive betting system believing
that that’s going to be the
key to unlock the vault so to speak
Unfortunately progressive betting
systems do not work
there’s never any correlation that says
if you lose or win the previous hand
that’s gonna increase or decrease your
odds of winning the next hand in blackjack
so progressive betting systems don’t
work it’s not going to change the odds
A lot of players asked me about card
counting and specifically what is it
because there’s a misconception that
if you’re a card counter you’re gonna memorize
every card that’s played
and that’s not how card counting works
Card counting is simply watching the
cards on the table
so that by seeing these cards you’ll have
some information
as to what the mix of cards are
in the un played cards sitting in the
shoes that are gonna come out in the
next round
and I’ll give a simple example, let’s
take a look at a single deck game
you sit at a table and a dealer shuffles
the cards
cards come out on the first round you’re
an observant blackjack player so you
look at the cards
and you see that there are four aces on
the layout
maybe you have an ace, two other players
have second and third ace so maybe the
dealer has the fourth ace.
Now the dealer picks up those cards puts them in the discard tray
and now she’s ready to deal the second
round, what are your chances of getting a
blackjack on the second round?
Well your chance is 0 because
you were an observant player
you saw that all four aces were
therefore you have the knowledge from
what you saw
that they’re not going to be any blackjacks on the next round
So if you’re smart bettor in that game
you’re not going to make a very large
bet in that second round
Now card counting is not illegal
the last time I looked using your brain
when you play blackjack is certainly
not an illegal activity and that’s all
you do when you card count
you’re using your brain. Now there’s a
misconception that a lot of players
mistakenly believe that in order to be a
card counter
they’re going to have to study for
months and months and be like the MIT
guys that
a lot of players saw in the movie 21
That’s certainly not the case anybody
with average intelligence can learn
card counting
Now some card counting systems do take a little bit more time to learn
but there are simple ones like speedcount
which can be learned in less than half
an hour by the average person
Besides playing blackjack in casinos
also another option and that’s
to play tournament blackjack
Tournament blackjack is a little bit
different than playing
blackjack at a table because when you’re
playing in a tournament
you’re not only playing against the
dealer but you’re competing against
other players
and the way tournaments work is quite
simple you have a table of say six or
seven players you all start out with the same number of
chips you all play the same number of hands, usually it’s 25 to 30 hands
and at the end of say the thirty hands
whichever players have the most chips
is declared the table winner and they get
advanced to
play other table winners. So in tournament
play the key is to end up
with more chips than your opponents on
the table
The question I get asked most often is
what is my
best advice that I can offer someone
that wants to learn
how to play and win at blackjack. The
best advice I can offer players first
and foremost
you must learn the basic playing strategy
and even if you have trouble learning
it, you can always take a strategy card
with you to the casino
and refer to it in order to play your
hands accurately
The second thing is you wanna scout the
you want to go in a casino and make sure
that the game you’re playing has fair
has a fair payout, a 3-2 blackjack payout
and the third thing is you wanna learn a
simple card counting system
something that will allow you to get the
edge in blackjack
If you do those three things then you can
be a long-term winner playing the game.
If you wanna know more about me I host
two web sites one is
and that’s a website
where I post a lot of the articles
that I’ve written on all of the casino
games so that includes blackjack and
video poker and craps and slots and the
other side that I host
and on that site I post my Blackjack
insider newsletter and that’s a
newsletter that is
published every month and it contains
mostly articles
on blackjack although we do cover video
poker and other games
if you’d like a free three-month
to the Blackjack Insider newsletter you
simply have to go through this
special URL and its
and if you just enter your
name and your email address we’ll send
you out the next
three issues for free. Don’t forget that
you can see more of our educational
gaming videos on our YouTube channel
just go to

42 thoughts on “Answers to Common Blackjack Questions with Blackjack Expert Henry Tamburin”

  1. Bet sizing when counting cards is usally based on the true count. The higher the count, the more you bet. If the count is up to +1 you make your lowest bet, if +2 you double it, +3 you triple it, +4 quadruple it, etc. About 95% of the time, you use basic strategy. However, you sometimes deviate based on the true count. There are "index numbers" you need to memorize. When the count is above or below a certain level in particular situations you should deviate from basic strategy.

  2. @americancasinoguide is there a point of going to a casino with psm and is there any casino in the world that don't have a psm if u no the please message me back

  3. By "psm" you mean a continuous shuffling machine? If so, most casinos use them on some, but not all of their tables. They usually use the CSM's on tables where the minimum betting limits are lower because it speeds up the game and they can make more money. If you make higher minimum bets you will usually find a table without a CSM. At Strip casinos in Vegas it would probably be $25 and up. If you have to play at a table with a CSM, make sure it is crowded to slow down the speed of the game.

  4. By "psm" you mean a continuous shuffling machine? If so, most casinos use them on some, but not all of their tables. They usually use the CSM's on tables where the minimum betting limits are lower because it speeds up the game and they can make more money. If you make higher minimum bets you will usually find a table without a CSM. At Strip casinos in Vegas it would probably be $25 and up. If you have to play at a table with a CSM, make sure it is crowded to slow down the speed of the game.

  5. @americancasinoguide thanks mate do u have eney tips on craps and and yes i meant a csm and with a csm do u just use basic Strategy

  6. No videos on craps, but I have s tory about how to play and the best strategy. Yoyu can read it here – americancasinoguide(dot)com/basics-of-gambling/craps.html

  7. Fortunately many normal players are not stupid enough to play on Continuous Shuffling Machine games (CSM's). This is because of a common superstition that if you win a hand and the shoe is suddenly shuffled, the "Flow of The Cards" is ruined! Then they blame another player who jumped in or the shuffle if they lose the next hand. Now, if only we could get them away from 6:5 games!

  8. better dealer standing on soft 17? huh?…thought that would be worse…can someone explain why it favors players

  9. 17 is not an especially strong hand. Therefore, it's better for you if the dealer stands on soft 17. As a player using basic strategy, you would never stand on soft 17 – you would always hit it – so that alone should let you know that it would be better for you as a player if the dealer never hit his soft 17. Also, keep in mind that average dealer's non-blackjack winning hand total is approximately 18.8. Therefore, if he has to stop at 17, it's much less than he would normally average.

  10. You have to look at gambling as an entertainment expense. If you spent your money to go watch a sporting event, you would have nothing tangible to show for the money you spent: only the experience of watching the game. You need to look at gambling in the same way. Just make sure you only spend money that you can afford to lose. Don't gamble with the rent money!

  11. You can only count cards if you know how many decks are left and if there is sufficient penetration. Unfortunately, I don't think that the Internet casinos will give you that information when you play their games. If they did, then yes, you could count cards. Otherwise, the answer would be no.

  12. I play in a casino in Australia which uses Continuous Shuffling Machine and where the dealer only deals one card for himself and only deals the second card to himself once all the players are deal with the second round. Will this make card counting difficult as i am learning it now.

  13. You can't count cards against a continuous shuffling machine. Also, it sounds like you are playing a "no hole card" blackjack game. If so, you should be aware that there is a slightly different strategy when playing that particular game. The reason for the change is because you could lose more then one bet by doubling down, or splitting, before finding out if the dealer has a blackjack.

  14. You can't count cards against a continuous shuffling machine. Also, it sounds like you are playing a "no hole card" blackjack game. If so, you should be aware that there is a slightly different strategy when playing that particular game. The reason for the change is because you could lose more then one bet by doubling down, or splitting, before finding out if the dealer has a blackjack.

  15. Ohhh….dang it, well i guess learning to count cards is just part of a skill acquired and that its hopeless agaisnt a shuffle machine. The blackjack played in the casino is totally different dealing compare to vegas i guess like i said it deals with all the players until they bust or stand than they take a deal on them than it comes down to the dealer before the round ends

  16. In a casino where I play they have an option to bet if you get a pair, you put an additional bet in a small circle in front of your main bet and if you are dealt a pair, it pays 10 to 1. Is this a good bet on blackjack or its a sucker's trap?

  17. Generic basic strategy works for all situations. Keep in mind that even when using basic strategy you are still playing at a disadvantage. However, the advantage is lower than guessing how to play your hands, as some players do.

  18. Basic strategy will work against a continuous shuffling machine. However, card counting won't wotk against a continuous shuffling machine.

  19. Hello, i have a question about the CSM and card counting. When the casino use a CSM, can you stil use the card counting system or is this system than not working because off the continue shuffeling from the cards ? im from Holland and all of the casino's use this CSM.

  20. The casinos love these books and would like nothing more than for you to read them al. Grab your wallet and come to Vegas, where they'll serve you drinks and put on shows…oh yea and take all your money. The only way you ever beat the house is if you just happen in one day and hit something big, collect your money and never return. End of story

  21. Basic strategy really doesn't work anymore.  I used to be really good at BJ, but my luck turned when those damn shuffling machines took over, and the 6 to 5 payouts.  When I first saw the Mindplay-21 tables, that's when I said, "enough!"  I decided at that point to stop playing.  The casinos really took off with their greed nowadays.  I even remember how the floors would get much quieter.  If you don't hear background noise of people cheering and laughter, that means people are losing their shirts, and they are not having fun!  It's been years since I set foot in a casino, and I certainly don't miss it!

  22. not that you (in your right mind) would ever do such a thing, seeing as how 10s and faces are 10s, are you allowed split a 20 made of a 10 & face or face & face?

  23. Look for these: Blackjacks pay 3:2; dealer must stay on soft 17; and surrenders are allowed. Beyond those rules, just play according to standards. Don't try to count cards.

  24. I actually sided with the casino on this using CSM thing. The casino game is for fun, then CSM makes a game become a game once again. since we all know that card counting works, but it actually doesn't can make you a big money like in the movie. I think, a player should be a player have fun. go back and live their lives become business men, husbands, or wives. since CSM make the casino/player to play more game per hour than shoe games, then it serves the purpose of a casino.

    so, I made my point. CSM would make the purpose of a casino be more casino… ^ ^ the losing of the players are to pay their cost, wages, managements… So, if you come to have fun, you know the house edge, so don't bet big if you couldn't afford it.

    But one more thing, as I often play in Macau, which has much better rules than in Vegas, from what I have heard online. Even though they use CSM but all other rules are very much favor the players.

    Here are BJ table rules in Macau.
    "All BJ use CSM"
    + Dealer stand on All 17
    + Blackjack Pays 3 to 2
    + Split any 2 cards
    + Surrender allowed
    + European (American) Rule -_-; (It is what I define that Dealer has no hole card don't peek for Blackjack but if he doesn't get a blackjack, player will only lose their original bets)

    from what I calculated EV is around ~ -0.49%

    I'm not going against BJ card counters since I also know that card counting is not illegal. But I just say that it is their right to do too, to use CSM and it makes the game fairer you'll get better rules, and I actually encourage the casinos to use CSM with good rules.

  25. Double down after splitting is a big one. There are moments in BJ where you want to get as many chips in as you can. Since BJ is basically an even money game these bets are how you walk away with a big night at the table.

  26. I laugh at all who think a CSM is legit. The card “shuffle” machine is a card stacker. Take a look at the inside of one found on youtube videos. You will understand why it was such an inconvenience to hire someone who continuously shuffle a deck before your eyes vs a machine thats enclosed and you dont see a damn thing going on in there.

  27. Some Guaranteed ways to lose and have a frown as you lose 1. stay too long

    2. get addicted to slots.

    3. playing BJ at tables with AUTOMATIC CONSTANT SHUFFLING MACHINES and / or

    BJ TABLES THAT ONLY PAY OUT 2:1 for a BlackJack

    If you're up any amount that rings your bell, leave and leave gambling for the whole day.

    (Read all to the bottom to see my BIG tip! 😍🙄😘😍😉👍🏽‼️👍🏽👍🏽

    But don't play slots: AmericanCasino Guide has videos 'TOP 20 Slot Machine Mistakes!! '. They are too fastpaced and sneaky …Not fun and they're guaranteed to take all your $$💰💰💰…..

    So; leave if you're ahead–😉💋 👔💍👛🍛🍻🍟🍔 You've had your fun, why spoil it!!

    Enjoy your life, leave and do tourist stuff, sexxxy stuff or if you're not on vaca' just get the wash done, the car detailed, or take the kids to a movie,

    ballgame or swimming.

    Budget! Plan ahead and only take and spend your


    Forget borrowing from a friend or spouse or ATM.

    EXPERTISE at your game counts,, use a bit of brains and don't play stupidly making childish moves, in craps, or card games.

    But I know it's hard to remember the correct rules, strategies and even ( in poker ) different player types and body language stories. Why not try this stress free, non competitive fun game that requires only a little bit of patience??

    Roulette, commonly thought to be a dumb game to play, is one of the best and smartest games to play if you are PATIENT!!

    Here's the secret the casinos don't want you to know !!

    –Formerly hot numbers, ALWAYS stop hitting and cold numbers ALWAYS heat up, because over a day or two all numbers will hit evenly all around the wheel!!

    So watch carefully and note the 'hits ' for 2 hours before supper, then go eat , and note them again and get a read on which formerly cold numbers are now heating up a little………and then strike !!

    Perhaps the numbers 4-6 and 9 have been cold and are starting to hit a few times.

    With a small wager you cover 6 numbers, six SOON TO BE HOT numbers, we hope.


    This is a month later and here's an important addition!!
    Once you have chosen the warming numbers , those 6, in a bunch , it's vitally important to bet small SMALL and be very patient with them . You can't expect them to win immediately!!
    Keep betting them for a minimum of 12 spins and see if the ball hits or comes next to your numbers. Close is good!!
    It shows you your numbers will be hitting soon…… End of edit..

    ANOTHER THING TO WATCH IS JUST the % of BLACK or RED, hitting .

    — If black has hit and hit & hit 20/25 spins you don't have to be a genius to know to put bets ON RED. ( tho the bet is bigger than on inside numbers ☔️👎🏽)

    Use this slow patient ROULETTE strategy to have fun and maybe win a few bucks IN THE LONG RUN!!

    The first step is up to you. Go get a pen & paper and keep track of the 'Old Hot #'. And the 'Cold #' . Put them on a the circle on your page and then simply watch and keep track for the next couple of hours ( while you have lunch )

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