5 Game-Changing Optional Blackjack Rules

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The house edge is the bane of every gambler. Luckily, a few sharp and motivated players have

put the work in and found unique rules and adjustments that can turn the game around. By asking

around and looking closely, it is possible to find blackjack tables and online games that offer

these special rules. Here are five optional rules to look out for.

1. Decking Down

From the moment card-counting became public knowledge, casinos have been shuffling together

more and more decks in order to throw off card-counters. The less decks, the better, but nothing

beats the single deck game. Blackjack games using only a single deck are the most common at

private events, and very rare inside a casino, online or on land.

2. The Charlie

One optional rule, called the Charlie, declares that the player wins so long as they have a certain

number of cards out and still haven’t busted. The classic Charlie is five cards with no bust, but

casinos may require up to seven. Even stricter Charlie rules are better than nothing, but a table

with a 5-card Charlie rule is a winner.

3. Blackjack Payout

Despite fairly straight-forward rules, no two casinos can agree on how much to reward the player

for a blackjack. Generous casinos pay 2 to 1 for a blackjack, while greedy casinos pay 6 to 5.

Most sit somewhere in the middle, not being too generous or too greedy. Some will only count it

if the blackjack is suited, but this rule is still invaluable. Certain tables will even offer a

consolation prize for a blackjack tie. When both the dealer and the player get a blackjack, the

player earns half their bet back instead of losing everything. With the right context, this rare little

rule may just be enough to tip over the house edge.

4. Adding Up

Some wins are worth more than others. Not only are blackjacks sometimes awarded more than

other wins, sometimes wins with a large number of cards take the ticket as well. If the player has

five or more cards when they win, the winnings might just increase. Unfortunately, receiving

more than five cards without a bust is highly unlikely, so the seven-card rule does not make

much of a dent.

5. Automatic Win

At some tables, it doesn’t matter what the dealer has so long as the player has exactly 21. The

dealer may have 21 as well, and may even have a blackjack, but none of that matters. The player

wins just because the staff was feeling especially nice when they made the rules.

Sometimes only a little tweak to the rules is needed to make a difference for the players. It might

take a little searching, but these games are out there, and they are worth it.


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Hit the Slots with a Smart Watch

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In this day and age, most casinos worth their salt have an online presence. Many successful

casinos operate entirely online, much like the news websites of the 21st century. As land-based

gambling turns obsolete, a new wave of technology is headed our way: gambling by smart


It is common for online casinos to have a mobile version. Our friends at Silver Oak Casino are

set up for gameplay on any device that plays flash. This means Androids and tablets as well as

desktop computers. Slots of Vegas is available on the iPhone and the Android, and is available at

the app store. Mobile apps can play any game a gambling website can, from slots to blackjack to

video poker, and on and on. There is an app for all things including bingo and keno, and all of it

is accessible with a quick search for available apps.

While the smartphone market has expanded and become commonplace, the smart watch business

is just beginning task manager online. The first smart watches were very simple. Their primary function was telling

the time and sending notifications. It was essentially a device for reminding the user to use their

phone more. Now the market is finally gaining momentum. Smart watches can play music, open

apps, and operate simple controls. The next thing in line is a watch that takes control of an app

from afar.

The main problem with the modern smart watch is it does not do much without the phone it is

linked to. It is an accessory for a device that does more than the watch can do on its own. There

are some apps, however, that don’t need a large screen or a lot of buttons. There are certain

games that can be played entirely on the smart watch, with the accompanying phone plugged in

yards away. In particular, these are blackjack and slot machines.

When playing blackjack, all the user needs to know is what cards they and the dealer have. The

only buttons they need to press are “hit” and “stand.” At a slot machine, the player can pick how

much they want to bet and when they want to spin, everything else is just decoration and

background noise.

If a game is simple enough, the entire experience can fit on a square inch screen on the player’s

wrist. It doesn’t work for every game, that’s for sure. A bingo card will never fit on a smart

watch screen, and there are too many options in a game of roulette for the playing experience to

be smooth enough. It takes a simple game with quick rules and easy gameplay.

As smart watches continue to find their place in the modern market, we can except to see a shift

in the smart watch’s independence. There will be several things that are quicker and easier on the

watch, even if it does have a tiny screen and no memory to speak of. In good time, there will be a

little something for the gamblers who want to play a quick game.

6 Quick Blackjack Tips

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Anyone can play blackjack. It may seem nerve-wracking at first, but blackjack is actually a fairly

simple and exciting game. By freshening up on a few simple rules, it is possible to be a blackjack

success even without counting cards. Follow these 6 simple rules, and the game is in your


1. Always hit a soft 17, but stand on a hard 17.

A soft 17 is an ace and a 6, a rare but classic combination. With the ace in the mix, there is

plenty of room for another card, but without, keeping things as is stands a much better chance of

winning. Holding more than 17 also means it’s time to stand.

2. Always split aces and 8s.

Aces should be split because they’re valuable. Turning one hand into two means that there are

two chances to draw a face card and win right away. 8s should be split for the opposite reason:

two 8s together are up to no good. No one wants 16 in their hand if they have a choice. There is

too high of a risk of pulling too high or low of a card and losing it all. It’s a much better idea to

split and try for cards to complement the 8s.

3. Keep 5s and 10s together.

When holding a pair of 5s or 10s, it is best to keep them together and let them do their thing. It is

better to shoot for 20 than hope for an ace to turn it into 21.

4. Always hit 12 through 16.

With numbers like these, drawing almost any card has a chance of winning, certainly more of a

chance than if the player stands.

5. Keep a clear head.

Blackjack is not exactly a party game. Drinking may be all well and good for the slot machines

and craps table, but blackjack players need to think quickly and clearly through stress and

background noise. Stay hydrated and well-fed, and take a break when you start to feel tired or


6. Keep the tips in your pocket.

It may be tempting to give the dealer a tip. Many players feel that dealers will give them help and

advice in exchange, and this may be true or even beneficial for new players, but tips cut deeply

into potential winnings. Don’t worry, the dealer is not about to start pocketing the aces.

Try your hand today, Planet 7 Casino is waiting for you

The Best Attitude for Every Gambling Game

Posted by & filed under blackjack, Craps, Entertainment, keno, Roulette, slots.


The theory has been proven again and again: attitude helps you win. The question is which

attitude to take. For every gambling game, there is an attitude that perfectly fits the ideal playing

style. Coming at the game from the right angle allows players to take control of the game, even if

they can’t control the dice.

Blackjack: Confident

Confidence is a magical feeling. In every situation, it encourages people to follow the course of

action that they believe is the best one. Confidence also sharpens the senses and improves math

skills. With a confident mindset, players will notice more, make better mathematical decisions,

and follow through better.

Roulette: Patient

The safest bets on Roulette have about a 50/50 chance of winning and very little payoff. This

makes for a very slow game with a lot of back and forth. An eager player might get tired of

collecting small sums and watching them disappear on the next spin. They may even go for one

of the numbers hoping for a stroke of luck, but the most likely result is a heaping pile of nothing.

Slots: Reckless

Who doesn’t want to turn all the dials to max and see how far it goes? On a slot machine, this is

actually a good idea. On any machine, the maximum bet is always the best one. Finally, cranking

it up and letting loose is the right choice. Try it now at Slots of Vegas.

Craps: Cautious

A cautious player knows that the next 7 is right around the corner. It’s tempting to leave the bets

out until the 7 is long overdue, but a cautious player gets a gut feeling when it is time to snatch

the chips away and let the 7 come up. A cautious player also chooses the option with better odds,

so might pick the dreaded Don’t Pass line and have better odds than the norm.

Video Poker: Cunning

A chip in the hand is worth more than two in the cards. A cunning player knows that if there is

already a winning option in the starting set, there is no point in trying to form a new one. Video

poker is best played with a mindset that knows the difference between greed and calculated risk,

when it’s time to go for something big, and when it’s time to play it safe.

Keno: Anything

Unlike most gambling games, keno is a game of pure luck. There are no decisions the player

must make which will change the course of the game. That means players can throw caution to

the wind and play however they want.

3 More (And Final) Signs That Your Blackjack Game Needs Help

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This is it. The third and final part of our Blackjack series is finally here and we’re going to look at the best tips for playing insurance, playing soft 18s, and most importantly, leveraging your tablemates.

We’ve already gone over how to play certain hands, when to double down, and when you should and shouldn’t split your pocket pair. To review these articles, click here for part 1 and here for part 2.

Playing Insurance

Don’t do it. It sounds like a somewhat prudent idea when you’re asked about to lay down a wager, but all the Dealer is doing is sucking you into a useless bet that will run your playing stack down way quicker than you need it to.

To recap, if the Dealer has an Ace showing, he will then go around the table and ask any players if they wish to purchase insurance. Insurance allows you to wager half of your original bet and if the Dealer hits Blackjack, you double up and thus break even on the round. If he doesn’t hit Blackjack, you lose your insurance bet but you’re still in play on your original wager.

Insurance does not protect your hand. This is the perception and one that the casinos have cultivated, but it should be made clear that you are essentially betting that the Dealer will hit a Blackjack at 2/1 odds. To contrast, the odds of the Dealer hitting a Blackjack, after showing an Ace, is 9/4. So if you’re playing $10 hands, resulting in $5 insurance bets, over the course of 100 hands, you will lose $10 through insurance. Keep this math going, and over the course of 500 hands, you will be out approximately $50.

You may get lucky and win an insurance bet here or there, but over the long haul, the numbers strongly suggest you will end up in the hole and run your chip stack dry.

Playing Soft 18

If a Dealer is showing 9, 10, or Ace, you have to hit on the 18. If you have a soft 18, you definitely have to hit. Most players feel comfortable with an 18 and are willing to run the risk that the Dealer won’t go 19-21.

If you have a soft 18, you always need to be hitting because you can’t bust and you might be able to steal a card away from the Dealer. Furthermore, it’s rare to play a hand with zero risk, yet incredible upside. This is the equivalent of free money so don’t be seduced by the number 18 and play the odds to up your chances of winning.

Playing A Crowded Table

Lastly, when you’re at a casino, it’s always best to play with a crowded table.

First, the more players at the table, the less hands you see. Given that the house has a .5% edge over you, it makes sense that the lower amount of hands you see, the less advantage the house has over you. Secondly, you can strategize with the table and if you’re ever unsure about what to do, you have a crowded table of players telling you exactly what you should do. Last, but certainly not least, if you’re counting cards, you’ll be able to recognize if a deck is hot much quicker than normal given the high volume of cards that are coming out per hand.

You will never have the advantage of the house, but playing a crowded table gives you the best opportunity to close the gap as much as possible.

There you have it! With all three parts of this series, you are now ready to head to the casino and take home the biggest Blackjack cashout of your life.

Or, you’ll never want to ever play Blackjack again. Either way, you’re not losing any money!

3 MORE Warning Signs That You’re Bad At Blackjack (Part II)

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Dealer's Hands

Last week, we tackled part I of this series. We talked about staying off side bets and not deviating too much from the general and widely used Blackjack strategy. Today, we’re going to focus on certain hands that you should and shouldn’t be playing, even if it may go against conventional wisdom.

How you play these hands will require some gut instinct and some reading of the table, however it’s important to recognize when you’re in a hand that requires a different way of thinking.

Hand #1 – Standing on a 16 When Dealer Shows An Ace

When the Dealer is showing an Ace, you almost always want to hit. However, sometimes when a player has 16, he/she is afraid of busting so they’ll just stand.

If you are one of these people, this is a warning sign that you are bad at Blackjack.

Yes, you have a high chance of busting but when you compare that to the odds of a Dealer busting while showing an Ace, you quickly realize the only shot you have to win is to hit your 16 and give yourself a shot at winning the hand.

This is a bad hand and more than likely, you’re going to lose. However, as Wayne Gretzky once put it, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Put yourself in a position to steal the hand and always hit on your 16.

Hand #2 – Splitting 10’s When Dealer Shows A 6

Yes, this seems like the smart move. Why not double your chances at winning by playing 2 10s face up vs. a showing 6? There are many reasons to convince yourself that this is a good idea, but here’s the one key detail that everyone seems to forget: When you split 2 10s, you are openly throwing away a 20. Last time we checked, 20 is the 2nd best hand anyone can get in a game of Blackjack and you’d be throwing it away for the chance to maybe double up your money.

Bird in hand or two in the bush? How you answer this question will probably determine what you do in this situation moving forward. However, if the idea of the game is to beat the Dealer, it’s hard to ask for a better opening hand than a 20.

Hand #3 – Standing on an 18 When Dealer Shows A 9

This is the trickiest of tricky situations as giving up on an 18 will twist and churn your stomach more than the free booze you get at the table. Normally you don’t want to risk your 18, however with a near 40% chance that the Dealer turns over a 10 or Ace, your 18 won’t hold up.

This one may require some table reading, however more times than not your instinct should be to hit your 18. We know this is painful and you probably will still stay on your 18, but if you want to give yourself the best shot at winning, then you have to bite the bullet and ask for more on your 18.

Next week, we’ll conclude this series with part 3 and take a look at playing insurance, hitting 11s, and leveraging your tablemates.

Try your hand, and you luck, at some blackjack today at Slots of Vegas casino

3 Warning Signs That You’re Bad At Blackjack (Part I)

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Blackjack isn’t that difficult, yet we all fall prey to the same mistakes. Whenever you’re not winning, it can certainly be chalked up to luck. However, of all the games at the casino, if there’s one game that’s based least off the concept of luck, it’s Blackjack.

There are usually a few warning signs that point directly to why you’re not winning at Blackjack. When these warning signs start flashing, it’s very easy for other people at the table to see them and for them to figure out that you’re not a very good Blackjack player.

That’s clearly the bad news. The good news? We know exactly what these warning signs are and we know how to correct them for you. After reading this article, you too will be able to pick up on these warning signs and stop yourself before you lose any more money.
1 – Use The Tried and Tested Strategy

This is not difficult and quite frankly, if you’re not going to use this strategy, I’m not sure what else you would be using.

Example – If you have 15 (8 and 7) and the dealer has a 9 showing, what is your move?

Of course it should be to hit, as you must assume that the dealer will flip a 10 and knockdown a 19. However, you’d be surprised how many times a player will get cold feet and be weary of busting, thus not take the next card and lose the hand anyway.

Do what you’re supposed to and don’t try and get cute. Every card you do and don’t take will directly impact those at the table. It’s one thing to hurt you; it’s another to kill the rest of the people at the table!

2 – Stay Off The Side Bets

Yes, it’s very cool when you hit the ‘Lucky Ladies’ or you get doubles in the pocket. Yes, you’ll win 3-1 on your bet and have enough flow to last you for another 15-20 minutes. However, next time you’re at the casino, take notice of how many times people bet the side bets and how many times they kick away their wager. The wins will always be far more exciting and you’ll hear much more about them, but for every side bet win, there are 5-6 side bet losses that nobody talks about.

If you want to keep your money, stay away from the side bets!

3 – Pay Attention To The Cards

Nobody’s asking you to keep a running count of the cards, but you do need to be roughly aware when the deck is loaded with high or low cards. This isn’t an extensive exercise, but it’s one you need to master so you can alter your bets accordingly.

If you play a few hands and you’ve seen quite a few low cards (2-7) on the table, without doing any extensive counting you know the next couple of hands are going to lean towards higher cards. This is your bet opportunity to increase your bet with the hopes of hitting two high cards in the pocket. Each time you sit down to play Blackjack, there will be a time where the deck is ‘hot’ and you need to increase your typical wager to take advantage.

Think of it this way. If you’re driving down the highway and you know there are no cops around, you’re more likely to go a little bit faster. Consider this like knowing the deck is hot with face cards. On the contrary, imagine there’s a cop who has set up shop on the side of the highway and is clocking your speed, you’re much more likely to drive conservatively. Consider this like knowing there are several low cards coming out.

You always adapt to your situation and playing a hand of Blackjack is no different.
Do you want to know about 3 more signs that you’re bad at Blackjack? Check back next week when we finish up this series with Part II! And if you wish to try your skills online, the best place around is Silver Oak Casino. 

The 5 Easiest Gambling Games to Pick Up

Posted by & filed under blackjack, bonus rounds, casino, Roulette.

Planning to visit an online casino but not really sure what’s out there? Drained by the day-to-day working life and need something simple to unload with? Tired of stressing over difficult decisions in more complex gambling games? These are simple, common gambling games that can be found in the casino and on the web.

5. Roulette

The board may be complex to look at, but the rules are simple. The dealer lets loose a spinner, and the gamblers try to guess where it will land. Anyone can come in and bet on a specific number by setting their chips on table where the number is written. The safest bets are on categories instead of numbers. Players can pick the color, whether the number is larger than 18, or whether it’s odd or even, making the chance of winning just about 50/50.

4. Craps

The board sure looks intimidating, but a casual player does not need to know what each individual square is for. The most important square for a player to know is the pass line. Making a pass line bet means that whatever number the dealer rolls, the player will win so long as it comes up again before a 7 or 11. With a group around, it’s not even necessary to know that much, because the cheers and booing will make it clear whether it was a win or not.

3. Casino War

The player and the dealer go to war, with a deck of cards for their army. All the player has to do is flip over cards. Each reveals their card one at a time, and the high card wins. In the case of a tie, the player can surrender and lose half their bet, or double their bet and try again. The house only has an edge when a tie comes up, so those battles are the most crucial ones.

2. Keno

The player picks 15 numbers, and the machine picks 20. With a little luck, some of the numbers line up and the machine spits out tokens. These numbers can be anything between 1 and 80, and it doesn’t matter which numbers get picked. Someone could even make a picture of a smiley face, or click squares at random.

1. Slot Machines

More than any other gambling game, slot machines cut the thinking right out of the experience. All that’s needed is tokens to drop in the slot and a lever to pull. The machine takes care of all the rest. Pro tip: keep dropping in tokens until it maxes out. This is the best way to win.

Most popular gambling games require some level of skill. That’s part of what makes them fun, and also a way to get an edge on the other players. Still, when it’s time to kick back, it’s time to kick back. That’s what the simple games are waiting for.

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Tipping at the Casino

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Tipping the dealer is always optional, a matter of personal choice. Most players who tip will save their money for when they hit a winning streak, or when they make a big win, since losing money to a tip on a losing streak just adds insult to injury. There are different approaches to tipping as well. It can be more fun to place a bet in the dealer’s name, but giving chips directly to the dealer is also an option, if done right. Tipping is best done every hour or so, starting early on in the first hour. The exact technique depends on the game, but it’s always an option to simply set chips on the table and say they’re for the dealer to have.

  1. Craps

Tipping the dealer during a craps game can be a very good idea. The game is speedy and active, and the dealers are there to help players keep track of their bets and make sure they stay in the game. A tip shows appreciation for all the help the dealers give, and might ensnare some special attention from the dealer. The most popular craps tip is done by placing a $10 bet on one of the hard combinations and saying it “goes both ways.” This means that the player and the dealer will split the winnings. The most helpful bet for the dealer, though, it is to place a bet on the pass line and say it’s “for the boys.”

  1. Blackjack

The most elegant way to tip the dealer in a blackjack game is to set a smaller bet on top of the original and say the dealer is “riding on my coattails.” The better the player does, the bigger the tip. Tipping the dealer in blackjack doesn’t usually turn out to be as helpful as with craps, but it’s still a nice and giving thing to do. After all, most dealers are taking home minimum wage.

  1. The Slots

Every time a player hits a big win, the machine freezes up and a staff member arrives to deliver the prize in person. This is the perfect opportunity to leave a tip: about 1% of the earnings is normal. A slot machine tip is entirely optional, and a wheel of fortune tip is downright unheard of.

  1. Drinks

Not everyone tips the server when it comes to free drinks, but it hurts the server when they don’t. Every time a cocktail waitress, steward, waitress, or what have you orders a drink and the customer disappears, the tax falls on them to pay. What’s more, a tip of $1 per drink is a great way to ensure fantastic service, especially if that tip is paid in advance.

4 Reasons Blackjack is Better Online

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Dealer's Hands


  1. The Atmosphere

At the casino…

It’s a loud and crazy day. Winners can be heard shouting from all sides, the machines are buzzing, and there is another gambler standing impatiently behind you as you try to decide whether to take another hit. This is what going mad sounds like.

At home…

There’s no more buzzing, no more yelling, no more irritated glances, just you and the game. There is plenty of time to look the cards over and make the right choice. Your favorite music is playing over the speakers, and your favorite drink is already in your hand.

  1. The Choices

At the casino…

There is only one blackjack table open, and the dealer looks shrewd. Plus it’s right by the slot machine that beeps shrilly every 30 seconds. Is it better to wait for the other table, or play now and hear that buzzing in your ears for the rest of the day?

At home…

You can choose every detail from the setting to the design on the back of the cards. You can even choose to get up, watch a show, eat a snack, and come right back into the middle of a game.

  1. The Commute

At the casino…

How close is the nearest casino to your house? An hour away? Is it really worth it to drive all the way out if all you want is a quick game? No. No, it isn’t.

At home…

From the comfort of your own desk, it is possible to check email, play a quick game of blackjack, watch some YouTube, play a quick game of blackjack, type up some stuff for work, and then spend the rest of the night playing blackjack. Is there a casino in the world where this is possible?

  1. The Money

At the casino…

Even though you try to save all the money for betting, things keep coming up. You listen to all of the common advice, so you know you need to tip the servers even when the drinks are free. You also want the dealer on your side, so there goes even more tip money. Then your stomach starts to rumble and it’s all downhill from there.

At home…

No need to tip. The dealer is always your friend. You’re in charge of keeping your own cup full, there’s no need to keep a pocket full of dollar bills. Best of all, online casinos are littered with bonuses. There’s bonus money just for signing up and making deposits, even straight up free cash. There’s no doubt about it: blackjack just works out better online.