“You can win cash for cars, vacations and more every month, betting as little as $1 or $2 per hand.” As far as pitches go that one is pretty direct and to the point.
So the question I asked myself when I looked at this book is “what is this guy selling?” And in a nutshell it boils down to this: Blackjack basic strategy + betting rules + money management = the best chance of success. Following his simple approach author Dennis Spivak believes that the player can predictably and consistently win. “Let me tell you,” he says, “it’s utopia on the internet.”
Okay, hyperbole aside, his basic advice is pretty sound. Savvy players on and off the internet know that Blackjack is one of the few casino games where skilled players can minimize their loss expectation. And money management is essential to any player’s game strategy. As to the betting rules … well let’s have a look at the book first.
After a long and somewhat repetitious introduction and preamble the meat of Spivak’s text, his Chart, appears on page 34. It is a novel reworking of a standard Basic Strategy chart for a Multiple Deck game. What he adds to the mix is a lot of arm-twisting.
“When you stop thinking and start referring to the Chart … you’ll play a more relaxed, fundamentally sound game” he says, and “Never play hunches … Believe in the Chart”. For emphasis he adds the old saw “ours is not to reason why, ours is just to do or die.” Okay, okay, we’re getting the point: Chart good, everything else bad. Fair enough, let’s move on.
After some excellent suggestions about which Blackjack games to play –namely those where the dealer Stands on any 17 and where Double is permitted after a Split– we’re introduced to his betting strategies in Part IV.
Spivak presents a structured approach to betting that is based on (a) an “Opening Bet”, say $1 or $2, and that all subsequent bets are derived from it and (b) his stated goal which is to “minimize losses and conserve wins”. So far so good.
However, it’s in the details that I start to lose Mr. Spivak. For instance, assuming your Opening Bet was $2, he says “always log off once you are up by $2”. Say what? Sure enough, the details of his “Conservative” and “Traditional” betting strategies repeat and make a specific point of this.
In attempting to make sense of this advice I think I’ve gleaned the following: By “log off” Spivak means just that. Once you’ve logged off it’s apparently fine to log right back on again. In his words “log on and off frequently.” You’re supposed to ensure that when you do log back on you’re not “in the same spot where you previously left off”. It’s better to play games that assign you a random number as identification because then you know that the game hasn’t identified you as the same person you were in the previous game.
As far as I can tell what Spivak is saying is that it makes some difference to your final results whether the game software knows what you’ve won before within a given play session. To that I can only say this: if your results in a given hand are effected by hands you’ve already played they you’re playing a rigged game, plain and simple. Furthermore, if the casino wants to cheat you, logging off and on again isn’t going to make a big difference.
One could interject here that a hand’s results could be effected by the remaining cards in the shoe but Spivak himself makes reference to “the shuffle factor” meaning the programmed rule that online Blackjack decks are effectively reshuffled after each hand. He quite rightly points to this as the fact that renders card-counting at online Blackjack pointless. Spivak’s advice regarding log-offs baffles me because elsewhere he states that at “virtually every online casino they [the games] are programmed to be fair and … ultimately will be truly random.” I agree, but how then can logging off and then back on in any way effect a player’s results? Either the games are fair or not.
Since further explanation of this log-on-log-off betting approach is not given we’ll leave the subject as it stands. Needless to say I am soundly unconvinced.
The section concludes with some good advice on Judi Slot Online money management, specifically on establishing your bankroll. Simply put he advocates that the player have 50-times their Opening Bet in the pocket when they begin play. This is well within the common advice on this point widely given elsewhere.
There are other tidbits of advice that Spivak gives that I find puzzling though perhaps less troubling than the log-offs. Regarding Surrender, for instance, he says “I don’t like the option and I never consider it ….” Okay, that may be his preference but game analysis has shown that Surrender can give the player a slight edge so why disregard it so out of hand especially since, as he so often repeats throughout the text, “it’s all about winning”.
Around the middle of the book Spivak offers some math explaining how you’ll win 80% of the time and so on but … well, you decide for yourself. I’ve tried their Chart and their betting strategy and I sure as hell didn’t win 80% of the time. More like 1/2 that but perhaps my problem is that, as they warn, “until you totally accept the concepts … you may very well lose money.” So far he’s right about that.
The books wraps up with a 58 point summary including the mantra “Follow the Chart”. Right, we’re with you on that point. Finally there come a number of quotes offered by Chip the Cow, “team mascot, lucky charm, four leaf clover, and wheel of fortune all wrapped into one loveable bovine”. These pearls appear under the heading “Chip Sez”.
Okay, well at this point Max Sez: I’m outta here!