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Hello Keith. I' m reading my NBJ manual and I have an important question to

ask. In the casino where I play there is no hole card for the dealer. To

explain what I mean... dealer gives the first swing of cards to all players

and gets one for her self. Then gives the second swing of cards but she is

not taking any other card (hidden or hole card as you name it). Instead 1st

base players starts his play and dealer takes his hit cards in the end. In

this case what happens? How can I identify what is the next dealer's hit

card (as soon as there is no hole card)? The decision tables for 1st base

and 3rd base remain the same for this occasion?

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The no hole card option offers the experienced NBJ player the greatest advantage.

First, let's take a look at how this game is played. The dealer deals the first round of cards to every player, face up in most cases. On the second pass the dealer gives everyone a second card, however, does not take a second down card himself. This style is not seen much at all in the United States. All the players at the table make all their play decisions, i.e., hit or stand. After all the players' decisions are made the dealer then draws a second card and plays out her hand.

At first glance, this would eliminate the hole card read for the NBJ and thereby seemingly inhibit some of the advantage gained by the hole card read. However, it yields a greater advantage - control over the dealer's second card. In addition, it provides a better hit card anticipation in some circumstances due to the fact that with this no hole card option, we have switched to the other side of the table, thus allowing us to see more hit cards before we make a hit/stand decision.

To start, I recommend the no hole card players switch to the third base position. This is the position directly before the dealer takes his cards. You cannot use the NBJ tactic of playing off the last card ten in the prior round to make your betting decision as you are too far away from the next card out of the shoe. The only exception to this would be if you are at a table where there are three or less players. In this case you have a huge advantage due to first card anticipation and also dealer second card control.

You will be playing (in most cases) a negative or up as you lose progression. I want you to start with a low risk one to test the waters: 1-1-2. In other words, with $5.00 as the base unit you would be playing $5 - $5 - $10 on each hand if you have three successive losses. If you win any of the bets you are to return to the first bet. If you find that you are winning then you should up the progressions base bet as appropriate to your stop loss and bankroll.

When playing from the third base position you must first determine what your strategy will be. Of course if the dealer has a low card as her first card your objective is to feed the dealer a clump of tens to facilitate a break. This can be achieved in some circumstances. First, I must caution you not to read anything into the flow of the cards that isn't there. Too many players think that they are in a clump of cards when they are not and read things into the play of the hands that isn't appropriate. This is bad blackjack. With that said, if the dealer has a low card up and you have a pat hand 17-21 then of course the play would be to stand. However if you have a stiff hand 12-16 and the dealer has a low card up you should first:

1.) Determine if the next cards out of the shoe are a clump of cards. You do this by visually observing the hit cards in the round. If no one has hit then proceed back from your second card to the second card of the other players at the tables.

2.) If you determine that the clump is low and the dealer has a low card then you should hit your stiff to 17.

3.) If you determine that the clump is high then you should stand.

4.) If you cannot determine the clumping or the deck is random at this point play basic strategy and in most cases you will stand.

Not difficult from that point. Please understand that this is a common sense approach to blackjack.

Let's look into another possible scenario. Assume the dealer has a low first card. You, at third position, have a pair of 3's. You are in a very powerful position. First, you have many card play options that are available. Go through the same thought process. First determine if you are in a clumped section of the shoe. Assume that you identify a clump of tens. Your first impulse probably is to hit your hand or split. I want you to think about that for a moment. What advantage would there be by having two hands of thirteen? What is the difference if you stand with 6 or 13? Nothing! That's correct. The only way you can win is if the dealer breaks. Why take away the cards that could possibly break her? A ten doesn't improve your hand. You would not re-hit after you received a ten on the first three. So don't hit or don't split... send the dealer a clump of tens and collect the money!

Consider this same scenario again, only now you have identified a low clump of cards. Split the threes. If the clump still is going after you hit your first three, hit on your first hand until 17. Don't double the first hand unless you are certain you will receive a ten (of course I can't see how you could hit and obtain a total of 10 or eleven and then qualify the double). On the second hand you want to stop as soon as a ten falls, whether it be on the first or second hit.

I hope that this has enlightened you as to how to think when you are playing no hole card from third base. Now I will show you how to gain the greatest advantage from third base with a no hole card option.

The no hole card style play lends itself to the sacrifice player strategy. You will try to find a table with the 2 positions directly in front of the dealer, traditionally called third base and the 6th position.

The third base position ( spot directly before the dealers hand) will be your sacrifice player spot and the spot to the right of that spot will be your "Money Spot". For betting purposes the sacrifice player spot will be flat betting the table minimum for every hand. The Money Spot will be betting a negative progression at least twice the base bet of the sacrifice player. For instance, if the sacrifice player spot is flat betting $5 then the money spot must be using a negative progression of at least $10 - $20 - $30 (1-2-3) .

The sacrifice player will always flat bet. The sacrifice player will never double. The reason is that the sacrifice player must always have a card play option. His sole purpose is to feed break cards to the dealer. If the dealer has a low card up the sacrifice player will always try to eat up the low cards so that the clump changes to a high card clump. It is better to eat up a low card clump and send random cards to the dealer then it is to let a low card clump proceed to the dealer. The dealer cannot break with a low card clump, at least with a high card or random cards the dealer has a chance to break. If we use the previous scenario with the pair of threes as an example we note that the sacrifice player has many options to try to break the dealer. If highs are running he should stand on the pair of threes. If lows are running a split would be in order to eat up low cards.

You will receive "heat" from other players as well as the casino when playing this strategy. I encourage you not to argue with other players or get into a discrepancy with the casino. If you get to much grief the best policy is just to leave.

The final and most powerful approach is the previous sacrifice player strategy with a partner at the first base position. If you have a sacrifice player at third base and a partner at first position you can capitalize on the last card ten dealt to the dealer and also the increased dealer break ratio. In the United States it is technically collusion at the table and I would encourage you to be discreet when using this strategy. It is not necessary to play the no hole card only strategy with the sacrifice player and first base strategy.

Join us in Vegas for the Back to Vegas Seminar

at the Crescent Dealer's School

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Ellis.

After your reply, I decided to play. I recently visited my local casino and played 1st base, no hole card - 6 decks - 4 players my self included - one2six suffle machine. The tens ratio was sutisfying (more than 4 out of 13). Started playing with new cards at about 13:00 p.m. What I noticed is:

- Eventhough I followed the stop loss method (1-1-2 and then jumped to 1-2-4) - I playes satisfyingly well the 1st base Basic Strategy, I eventualy lost even my bankroll.

- The way the dealer picked up the cards was the way you teach. There were many pushes of tens and rarely clear clumps.

- Splits did not work out and my 21 was not paid twice because of dealer's 21 as well. Weird ha...?

- Many times it seemed as if cards were random or zippers (ex. ---++-+-)

- A few times there was bad 1st card predictability.

I wanted to ask you what did I do wrong? Should I play or protect my bankroll? Also I couldn't find Mad Dog in memberships list in order to inform me about the one2six suffle machine. Is he still a member?



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