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benjamin eckstein table tips blackjack table

LAS VEGAS “Luck is the residue of design.”

Most people attribute that quote to the late Branch Rickey back in 1946, but after exhaustive research, we found out that Branch nicked it from the great English poet John Milton. Johnny M. worked his magic back in the 1600s, and Branch figured that after 300 years, no one would notice the theft. We did!

So, as we dip our toes into the online casino waters, starting from scratch, we need to gather up all the info from people who have been there and done that. The journey will take us into the world of the “keyboard klickers” as well as the “casino cowboys.” And I humbly ask for your indulgence and patience as we grow together, because we WILL be rocking the wallet real quick.

Cousin Barry (no, not the hitman from the HBO TV series starring Bill Hader, just my actual cousin) has bounced between both worlds for years, and before he went out to play 18 holes, there were a few thoughts that he threw at me.

Asked him what was the attraction of playing cards (blackjack and poker) online as opposed to a bricks-and-mortar casino, and the answer was VARIETY & COMFORT! Sitting in his living room, his man cave, his hot tub or on the patio, he is able to control the vibe, the wardrobe and the kitchen.

If Barry is jumping into a tournament and knows he is gonna be at the screen for three to five hours, then there are a few rules that he follows. No big meals, no alcohol and no weed. Even though marijuana is now legal for both recreational (19 states) and medicinal (39 states) purposes in the USA as well as ALL of Canada, Cuz feels like he gets a little Mary Jane foggy, and loses his edge. So if you’re gonna light the bong, or roll a fatty, wait till the tourney is over.

Light snacks, maybe some chips, mixed nuts and a plate of hummus are the way to go. And OBVIOUSLY, alcohol is a NO-FLY ZONE! Why? Lemme throw this at you. Why do you think that they give out FREE drinks at most of the tables inside the casinos? ’Cause they want you blitzed, bombed, buzzed, hammered or lit. YUGE edge for the house!

How about the strategy of playing online where you can’t see a face, any body movement or a tell? Some of the experts we talked to told us that “table count” is a primo way to assess who you are fighting online. Most online poker rooms have a “search a player” feature. If they are only playing on one or two tables, there’s a good chance they’re average joes. And no offense to average joes because I’m an average Ben. If they are playing 10 tables, though, chances are they’re most likely pros. And if they block you from searching them, pick up your chips and MOVE to another table.

There are a few other ways to gauge your table that are a little more involved. Like posting a blind out of position, various chat box tells and passive play. We’ll jump into a more detailed discussion of these down the road.

Of course we’re still very heavy into the sports gambling side of the ledger and with NFL camps opening up next month, we’ll drop some love and some tasty futures bets on your table.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email... ben@americasline.com.