I’m just starting to play blackjack and are still on a learning curve. I’ve tried the basic strategies and counting tips but I seem to lose more than what I am winning. Does this strategy always apply or am I missing something?

The Guru replies:

Many people who are new to blackjack misunderstand the function of basic strategy. You can not win playing basic strategy alone! The purpose of basic strategy is to enable you to play within 2% of the house. You might even do better than that if the casino offers favorable rules. But basic strategy alone will not overcome the house edge. In order to do that, you must bet larger amounts when the odds are in your favor, and smaller amounts (or nothing at all) when the odds are against you. This means that some form of card counting is a virtual necessity. Also a good money management approach is very important. The blackjack system which you can read about on my web site incorporates all these factors.

Selamet writes:

I have a blackjack strategy question, could you please advise me. For starters, I am not a blackjack player, I am not even a gambler. Analyzing roulette systems is my hobby. For the last two weeks I have stopped roulette, and I have been browsing through blackjack systems, and I only know the basic strategy. The problem is…..

In Malaysia, the casino that offers blackjack uses three Slot Online decks in an automated shuffling shoe, all bust hands are immediately replaced into the shoe.

  1. Can the basic strategy still be used here?


  1. Since the third base player can still do card counting on the eleven initially exposed cards, plus any hits by other players, what card counting strategy do you recommend?


The only other person I asked says I have to be out of mind to play blackjack here at all. Could you advise me?

The Guru replies:

These horrible shuffle shoes are the latest weapon the casinos are using against blackjack players. So far, they are only being tried in a few casinos in Vegas as far as I know. I hope blackjack players have enough sense to revolt and not play these things. If casinos using them start to lose their blackjack business, perhaps they will wake up and get rid of them.

By immediately recycling all played cards into the shuffle shoe where they are shuffled using a random number generator, they have effectively taken away any advantage the player might gain because every hand dealt is like the first hand out of the shoe. I know of no way to beat such a game, although someone may eventually think of something. The only way to attack this thing would be with some sort of money management strategy.

If you must play against this contraption, by all means use basic strategy. But basic strategy will not make you a winner, it will only let you play within one and a half to two percent of the house. Card counting won’t help either because with 3 decks, even sitting at 3rd base you won’t be able to see enough cards for the count to be of any appreciable help in decision making. In addition you will have already placed your bet before seeing the cards so the count wouldn’t really help you at all. The best strategy to use when you see one of these machines is to run in the opposite direction.