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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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Missing cards

13 Apr 2019

By John Marchel
To have the advantage over the house when playing blackjack, you have to be able to count cards. You have to see every card that is played and add or subtract it from the count. But sometimes you might miss a card because of the action at the table.

For example, you are playing a double-deck game, and you can’t see all the cards until the hand is finished and exposed on the table. You are sitting at third base looking toward first base and that player busts. He throws his hand down, and the dealer sweeps them up with a flourish and you don’t see all the cards. What do you do now?

You can figure what the cards might be by deduction. We look at the dealers up card and we see that the card is an eight. You then assume that the player at first base had a busting hand since he had to hit to be a contender against the dealer’s possible hard hand of 18.

You can now presume that the player ended up with one small card and two big cards, causing the bust.

Another example: The player hit and a 10 shows up. He hits again and another 10 appears; he busts and the dealer sweeps up the hand. What did the player have? Two small cards like a two and a three is likely. He hit and got the 10, for a total of 15 against an 18, he hit again against the dealers 18 and busted.

It’s not the perfect solution to the problem; however, it will keep you within a reasonable range for your running count.


• Professional blackjack card counting teams required, at a minimum, 25 seconds to count down correctly a single deck of cards.

• More decks like 6 or 8, does makes it harder to count cards, but it can be done.

• Aries (the Zodiac sign). Aries is a natural gambler, he likes the challenge of the game, and beating the odds, which is typical of his approach to everything in life. Plus, he likes to win. His luck and skill tend to draw an audience as he takes on his opponent . . . the “casino.” A female Aries either enjoys gambling, or thinks it is a waste of time.

• Gambling in the U.K. for small sums is legal for games of skill such as bridge.

• In India, tennis is a popular sport. Many believe that an intelligent and skilled gambler can make a considerable amount of money betting on tennis.

• Gambling itself and even reading about it can be interesting, enjoyable and sometimes even helpful in improving one’s skill at the various games.

• Manitoba (a province of Canada) and Australia are the only two places in the world that have addiction counselors located right in their casinos.

• John Scarne, in his book Scarne on Cards (1949), said there were four kinds of gamblers at cards; the occasional player, the card hustler, the professional gambler and the cheat.

• In Spain, many years ago, wealthy widows of famous men, with large estates, were known to open their homes as casinos.

• One source reported that Native Americans in the New World would cut off their fingers to pay off a wager.

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

Missing cards is republished from
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