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How Much Do The Right Table And Dealer Mean For Winning at Blackjack?

Jun 5, 2014

navin20140605John Navin

Winning at blackjack is of primary interest to all gambling lovers, and there is numerous strategies and advice available online. However, what is more valuable is advice of an expert like John Navin, who gave priceless tips on how to improve your winnings, while playing blackjack in a casino, for Forbes.

Navin presented the story of a regular day in classic casino in Las Vegas back in the 90s, which was emblematic and became the day when he discovered very important blackjack strategy – picking the right table is of essential importance for winning at blackjack.

Naturally, the player has to start with picking the right casino, which offers rules that are better for applying card counting strategies, which will help them win.

What follows and is also good way of placing yourself in the best possible position when already in the casino, as described by Navin, is to blend as much as possible with the invariable amount of tourists typical for Las Vegas casinos.

Maintaining the image of out-of-town player, give you the advantage of controlling the element of surprise, as no one expects a regular tourist to master blackjack strategies and card counting system.

Being a local or demonstrating loudly your skills would only draw unnecessary attention and bring the inevitable loosing or just “breaking even” which is not “real progress”, said Navin.

Therefore, dressing like out-of-state person, even placing a small name-tag on your shirt pretending to be one of the millions convention participants in Las Vegas, is definitely helpful to make sure no one in the casino considers you as winner or an expert.

This is the so called “camouflage”, which is a very important blackjack strategy, described in the best blackjack strategy books.

Navin continued his story with describing in detail the first table he sat this day, where his company kept only tourists. It is important to note that the dealer was an attractive guy with impeccable uniform and confident presence.

One of the other players was an elegant woman, who told our blackjack hero: “This dealer has just dealt himself five straight blackjacks! No one at this table has won anything. We just keep losing money. Isn’t it exciting?”

This is when the dealer looked at Navin after hearing what the woman said and at this moment he realized this was not the right table for him, so he left. Everyone else remained enjoying the game and the charming dealer, who was taking their money, but they were still happy.

Statistically, it was impossible for the dealer to deal five straight blackjacks “off the top of a hand-held double-deck game” as Navin described, therefore the smartest thing to do was to leave this table and find one that would provide real opportunity for winning.

What Navin did was to find the right table after examining what was available at the moment and he discovered a table with dealer, who was tense and a little bent over the table, extremely focused on the cards, paying great attention to the game and making sure, she not making any mistakes.

The player had obviously made the right choice of table as the card counting system was working perfectly, backed up by the easy dealing. This allowed for quick accumulation of chips, as Navin used the required mathematics to calculate when to place bigger bets.

The moment when the winning becomes noticeable, is the right moment to leave as per blackjack pros and Navin himself, so that unnecessary heat would be avoided.

Another helpful strategy suggested was to remember the name of the dealer, who the player felt comfortable with, and go back after certain time to play with the same person, as it is much easier to play the house when your opponent and their style is already familiar.

The importance of conditions was highly stressed by the player, as card counting alone or in combination with sufficient knowledge of blackjack strategies, is not enough to win if you don’t “pick the right game with the right rules and at the proper table, you might end up breaking even forever.”


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