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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

3 December 1999

Dear RGT,

I have been a gambler all my life. I usually break even or win. I play blackjack only, and always play by the strategic rules chart. I never make an emotional or mathematically wrong move and therefore have a 48.5% chance of winning.

I noticed that at most online casinos you have all the time you need to count cards. I was playing at Starluck and counting, so therefore should have a 51% chance of winning. No matter how many times I played, I consistently lost. This can not be bad luck; I have tested it many times. They must cheat or have it rigged.

Please comment on my findings. I know they say they are fair, but they are not in America and not regulated, and there is just no way I can play every time and lose my whole bankroll. That has never happened to me in a real casino and always does at Starluck. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks,
Craig

Dear Craig,

You cannot rule out the possibility of bad luck. Arnold Snyder, in his blackjack column in Casino Player magazine, has written about card counters who have experienced very long (multi-year) losing streaks.

Are you sure that the online blackjack games you're playing in are simulating a shoe-dealt game? All of the online blackjack games I've heard of, in effect, shuffle after every hand. In this case, card counting doesn't give you any advantage and, in fact, puts you at a disadvantage. You think the odds are in your favor when you think the count is high, but the count and the odds never really change. This would explain why you always lose your bankroll online but never at a real casino. In the real casino, the odds really are in your favor when the count is high.

Your best bet is to stick with basic strategy and skip the card counting when playing online.

Best of luck in the casinos!
John Robison
Slot Expert


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.


For more information about blackjack, we recommend:

Best Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
The Morons of Blackjack and Other Monsters! by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Blackjack! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots