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HOME > STRATEGY > Strategies & Tips > More practice drills for blackjack

More practice drills for blackjack

28 October 2017

By John Marchel

Just like baseball players, you need practice to maintain your skill at blackjack. Ball players do a lot of practice drills before a game, and even if they are not scheduled to play, they still come to the ballpark and warm up by doing the drills. Even if you are not planning to go to the casino, you should do the drills periodically.

Set some time each day to do the practice drills. Spending just 15 minutes some time during the day would result in improving your skill significantly. All the drills should become part of you normal practice sessions. See other drills at John Marchel’s archives. There are drills to help you to learn a task more quickly; others need to be continued on a regular basis to maintain proficiency. Your action at the blackjack table should be almost automatic. Practice drills will do that for you. Here are more drills to add to your inventory.

Drill 7 - Deck scan, single deck

This drill will help your card counting speed. Hold the deck in your hand and scan cards instead of turning cards over from the top of the face-down deck. Hold the deck in your left hand face-up, and push cards from left to right off the top of the deck. Initially, keep the count in two card combinations. As you become more adept, you can scan 3-, 4- and even 5-card combinations. With a little practice, you can scan a single deck in 30 seconds or less.

Drill 8 – Deck scan, six decks

Using six decks, break the shuffled decks into six piles. This size should be easy for you to pick up and scan. Set these six even piles in front of you. Starting with the pile on the left, pick up each pile in turn and scan from left to right, similar to the scan for a single deck. Carry your count from pile to pile until you finish. At the beginning of this drill you should set aside two to three cards. At the end of the drill you should be able to tell what the set aside cards are. For example, if the count is +3, your three remaining cards should be three high cards.

Drill 9 – Multi-card hand drill

The purpose of this dill is to teach you to maintain the running count while making hitting-standing decisions in a multi-card hand (a hand with three or more cards). Multi-card hands often present problems for novice card counters. To start, use two decks of cards to make up a special training deck composed of 25 low cards, Eight 10’s or court cards and six ace cards. Shuffle up this special deck and deal yourself hands. In each hand deal cards until you get a soft 19 (a hand total 19 with one ace counting as 11) or better, or a hard 17 (a hand with all aces counting as 1) or better. With the 25 low cards, you will find that most hands will contain three cards or more.

As you deal the cards, total the value of your hand, make you hitting-standing decision and keep an accurate running count. At the end of each hand, set it aside for later review. When you reach the end of your training deck, the count should be +17 (25 low card minus the 8 ten’s are +17). If you have made an error, recount the hands that were played.

Countdown drill and minimum times
1 deck (52 cards) . . . 30 seconds
2 decks (104 cards) . . . 60 seconds
4 decks (208 cards) . . . 1 minute 45 seconds
6 decks (312 cards) . . . 2 minutes 45 seconds
8 decks (416 cards) . . . 3 minutes 45 seconds


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  • The odds of winning the British, Canadian, French or Spanish (Pimera) lotteries are the same: 1 in 13,983,816.

  • In the fall of 2015, the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball lottery game, changes the odds of winning the top prize from 175 million to 1, upward to 292.2 million to 1 odds. Two months later, a world record of $1.5 billion was awarded.

  • This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine. Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

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101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses
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