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CruiseDad 05-20-2011 12:54 PM

Tell me about BlackJack
 
Now that I'm Platinum I see I get a free entrace to the Black Jack Tournament. I know the basics of the game but have never played for real. I'm somewhat afraid I will do somthing wrong, like touch a card or say the wrong thing and be banned forever. LOL. So what are the rules, especially for eiquette, but also strategy and how the torurnament is played.

I don't mind dropping a $100 if that's what it takes to have some casino fun. i'd like to limit it to that.

Any advice? Or perhaps a web site or book I could learn from. I keep hearing that the ships are great to learn this game but in 10 cruises I have yet to bet a farthing on BlackJack.

Cruise Fanatic 05-20-2011 02:27 PM

Just type "How to play blackjack" in the Google search and you will get an excellent choice of sites.

Jim C. 05-20-2011 02:57 PM

The Black Jack tourney is a little different than playing BJ to win money. At the table playing to win, your only concern is to beat the dealer's hand so you win. In the tourney, you have to do that BUT you also have to beat the other players to win overall. This can lead to doing things you would never consider doing at the table like doubling down on blackjack to make more money so you can beat the other players. This means you have to pay attention to how much money you have versus the other players during the tourney so you can judge how much you should bet so that you can keep up with them or get more than them.

For real casino BJ its pretty simple. You want to be closer to a value of 21 with your cards than the dealer's hand is. Aces are 11 or 1 (and you can change their value as you collect cards) 10's and face cards are 10 points, all the other cards are face value. A BJ is a 10 and an ace. Everyone at the table gets 2 cards the dealer has one of his 2 cards face down. Then every one takes turns trying to get to 21. IF you have a blackjack you win immediately as long at the dealer does not have 21 also. (If they have an Ace of a 10 showing they will check their down card to see if they have BJ) If you don't have a black jack you have the option of Standing pat with what you are dealt (say you have 20) hitting (meaning you draw a card and add it to your value) splitting (only on pairs) meaning you match your bet and the pair of cards is split into 2 hands which are then played one at a time, or doubling down (typically done when you have a total of 10 or 11) where you double your bet and receive one more card. If your play results in you going higher than 21 you "bust" and lose. Once everyone is done taking cards, the dealer exposes the down card and plays by a set of rules, typically, the dealer stays on 17 or higher and hits anything lower. If the dealer busts everyone who didn't already bust wins, if you are closer to 21 than the dealer you win, if you match the dealer, you push and if you are less than the dealer you lose.

There is an optimal strategy for playing based on the card you have and the dealers exposed (up) card. As far as etiquette goes, there is not much other than you are not supposed to touch the cards. The dealer will move them around. If you want to take a hit, tap your finger on the table or knock on it lightly. If you want to stand, wave your hand over your cards. Most dealers know the obvious plays and you can kind of take your queue on what to do based on their action. If they deal you a card and then act as they are moving on to deal to the next player than its a fairly good sign that you should stay because most people play then same.

You can go the first sea day and take lessons. Somewhere in the Fun times you will see "free gaming lessons" Attend a session. They let you learn without risking real money. Then you can go play at the $5 table and try your luck. Also I suggest you google "The wizard of odds" He has much better strategy guides available than what I could type here. You can also print out a "cheat sheet" card you can use in the casino to tell you what you should do in each situation. Do be afraid to use one. No one should mind. His website also has practice games available so you can try it out and learn before you go. most dealers on a cruise ship will help you learn if you just tell them you need help. They like tips. :)

The simplest way to remember the basic of basic strategy is to remember to hit until your total is 17 or more if the dealer has a 7 or higher showing. Always double down on 11 (first two cards) and always hit anything less than equal to 10. When the dealers card is 3-6 stay on 12 or higher. There are a lot of different possibilities but the what I wrote above will cover most cases.

For the tourney... they will have qualifying games all night. They track the 8 highest winning totals. At the end of the night those eight play a final round, the winner of which wins $500. You can re-enter the qualifiers as many times as you wish. I have found that you need a total of $5000 to have a decent shot at being in the final round (you start with $1000) So during qualifiers you are playing for a high enough total to "get on the board" of 8 highest. You play 8 hands of blackjack. Bet enough so that if you win you can get on the board. If you have $2000 left and 2 hands to go to get on the board you may have to bet it all each time to have a chance...

Hope that helps... It was a broad question... go visit the wizard and then you can come back and ask more questions.

CruiseDad 05-21-2011 07:22 AM

Thanks that was great

I probably will not enter the tourney but perhpas now I can play just a little for fun

And thanks for the web sites too

johnniekoda 06-09-2011 03:15 AM

The best strategy is to not play online. Would you play blackjack at a casino where they took the cards into the backroom to shuffle them, where everything important happened outside your range of vision, where the whole thing, beginning to end was done in a dark room illegally and you’d have no recourse in the unimaginable event you could prove you’d been cheated? Online gambling from the US just about fits that description. The online casino strangers you play with provide the games because they have a vested interest in winning.

CruiseDad 06-09-2011 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnniekoda (Post 288542)
The best strategy is to not play online. Would you play blackjack at a casino where they took the cards into the backroom to shuffle them, where everything important happened outside your range of vision, where the whole thing, beginning to end was done in a dark room illegally and you’d have no recourse in the unimaginable event you could prove you’d been cheated? Online gambling from the US just about fits that description. The online casino strangers you play with provide the games because they have a vested interest in winning.

johnniekoda, Thanks, that's good advise and makes a great deal of sence. The web site wizardofodds had a link where you did not risk money but got to practise using their advise. I found that useful as I would look at my cards and decide what to do and then look at the advice and see if I was right. They could still be "suffling in the back room" but the worst that can happen is I get bad advice. I'll be careful not to do any real gambling except live and probably only on the ship for now. So far even on the practise site I have not been able to win so my goal is to "buy" and hour of fun with $100 or less.

29dawgs 06-09-2011 11:16 AM

CruiseDad,

You can Google search Blackjack Cheat Sheet and print one off. I would stay with playing regular blackjack and not play in the tournament. You can learn a lot more from other players and it is more fun. Also remember that you can always ask the dealers advise. Remember that the dealer is working for tips and wants you to win. Some people forget that.
One other thing always play the same way. If you hit a 15 or 16 because the dealer has a 10 showing, then always do it. Do not try and guess what the dealer has. Always consider that the dealers down card is a 10. Of course it will not be every time but the is the way you should play it.
Good Luck


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