Blackjack in Canada?
  • Turns out that I'll be spending a night on the Canadian side of Niagara falls on the way to Toronto this week, and if I remember from my last visit more than a decade ago there was a casino or two in town so I might be getting some playing time.

    Has anyone ever played there or knows if there are any variations or special rules I should be aware of? (like the European hole card rules?)

    And more importantly, although this might be a stupid question: are the chips at the falls in Canadian or in US funds? I'm assuming that most visitors are tourists from the US side, and that's going to determine for me where to convert cash...
  • Played Niagara Falls a few months ago, will again this summer.

    Two casinos: Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara

    Standard Vegas strip rules, at least where I played

    Unfortunately, CSM at all tables

    Yes, Canadian Funds only

    Grumpworth
  • Grumpworth said:
    Played Niagara Falls a few months ago, will again this summer.

    Two casinos: Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara

    Standard Vegas strip rules, at least where I played

    Unfortunately, CSM at all tables

    Yes, Canadian Funds only

    Grumpworth


    Which of the two has favourable rules ?
    CSMs are at least a chance to practice counting in real settings :)

    We're going to stay in Clifton hill, not far from the fair.
    I know there's a "Days Inn Clifton Hill Casino", is that actually a casino or is it named so for being not far from the Niagara casino?
  • Slgpgh....Friends of mine stayed at the Holiday Inn...$79/two & this included breakfast and dinner for both...not a bad deal.

    CSMs....Good luck learning to count against these machines.

    Best, Jim
  • jimpenn said:
    Slgpgh....Friends of mine stayed at the Holiday Inn...$79/two & this included breakfast and dinner for both...not a bad deal.
    CSMs....Good luck learning to count against these machines.
    Best, Jim


    Well, the thing is this: my counting practice has been with CVBJ where I can perceive the entire table at once. In a real casino, I would be making obvious but involuntary head and eye movements while counting. Until I learn to curb them better, i'm probably better off doing my first trial in a place where it doesn't matter and thus the casino doesn't give a damn whether I am counting or not.
    I expect to make as much money doing this as I would using CVBJ, i.e., 0, but the following week I will be in Atlantic City, where I can actually try for real (as much as my poor bankroll will allow me, that is).

    Thanks for the tip.
  • looking at all hands is natural. Just watch the players around the table. They all look at the second round of cards to see what each player has, and they all watch as each player completes his hand, then they all watch the dealer. Don't try to count each card for each hand, count on the second card so you count a pair at once, then as a player completes his hand, you can count those one at a time and look as natural as rain...
  • What's the correct basic strategy on CSM ?
  • color up, get up, and leave the table...
  • SLpgh...for a graduate student you sure don't seem to "get it."

    Play and count at the Canadian CSMs & you'll be eating more salt water taffy than playing BJ.

    Cheers, Jim
  • Colour up and get out, is good advice.

    It was my first time with CSM, don't like them but I just play for fun.

    I managed to be up 25 or 28 units ($10 table) and left town.

    The gods of blackjack were on my side that day.

    Grumpworth
  • jimpenn said:
    SLpgh...for a graduate student you sure don't seem to "get it."
    Play and count at the Canadian CSMs & you'll be eating more salt water taffy than playing BJ.
    Cheers, Jim


    I have to disagree here, Jim.
    There's no point in playing CSMs to win. I find the use of CSMs despicable, just as I find 6:5 blackjack. If I wanted games with independent trials, I'd go for the craps table. On the other hand, CSMs are a good chance to practice counting in real settings.

    On the night I had in Niagara I went to the old casino (no smoking floor and lower limits). Indeed, CSMs so there was obviously no point in trying to win. But, the CSMs mean that the floor personnel does not really care how long you hang around and how interested you are in the cards as long as you play once in a while.

    So what I did was mostly lounge around, either on a chair or behind players, and tried to count. Not in order to play (obviously, CSMs), but to practice counting in a more realistic setting.

    As much as we'd like to think CVBJ simulates real casino settings, it does not. We are still getting the cards on the screen, heads on, with uniform appearance and shading. In a casino, it doesn't work that way. The room is full of shadows and lighting is low, so cards are more difficult to recognize; you're not sitting at angles that are 90degs increments from the cards; the distance and perspective makes farther cards look different, etc. In particular, my vision is not too good even with glasses, so I had to learn to recognize how certain cards look from afar.

    I feel that standing there and back counting for three hours was well worth the 10$ canadian or so I lost playing in order to placate the pit bosses and stick around. I don't think that without this preparation in real settings I'll be able to count in real settings and play for real.

    It is my personal opinion and recommendation to everyone who's beginning to practice counting to try and get as good as they can with CVBJ full-table drills, but before going and trying it out in a real casino, to find a place with CSMs and just try to do the same by back counting the cards.

    Anyway, I'll probably be in Atlantic city on Thursday, and will see whether this stuff really helped or not... :)
  • Slgpgh....Your right. Practicing your counting in Canada was a benefit because you actually were in the enviroment. From your post I believe you learned quite a bit. Distractions, vision, etc. helped you understand what your up against verses sitting in front of your computer.

    The botto line is you gained experience in a casino that showed you your weak spots that need more attention on your part.

    When I made my post I thought you would be playing according to the count.

    Best, Jim
  • slpth:

    go to cvdrills, and choose the "full table drill". Select the "scattered" option and it will do just what you are wanting. Cards will be turned every-which-way, some partially covered by others, etc. Some say they count the "pips". I count using the numbers since it is not uncommon to have most of the pips covered by another card. But this "scattered" option will make you work to keep up at a decent speed. Also the normal full-table drill has first and third base with the cards turned at 90 degrees which is pretty realistic...
  • stainless steel rat said:
    slpth:

    go to cvdrills, and choose the "full table drill". Select the "scattered" option and it will do just what you are wanting.


    I usually use full table while watching TV, but I still see everything heads on. Maybe my problem is that because my vision is far from perfect even with glasses, I have a trouble distinguishing distant cards the same way some people have a problem reading distant road signs. This is true partiicularly in casinos with lower lighting.

    I guess I am more aware of the inherent problems because my research deals with human-computer interaction and usability issues.
    Perhaps at some point I should program a 3D counting trainer; I feel that 2D systems like CVBJ are not up to par with reality.
  • make sure you go to

    1. full table drills

    2. click "scattered" under hands, then set the number of cards to see in a round.

    the cards will be turned every-which-way...
  • Hi,

    Just got back from Falls View casino in Niagara Falls. They have some CSM and some 6 or 8 decks shoes. The casino is pretty big and I think they have some competition from casinos in Ontario and New York now.

    I played Sunday night for a few hours. There were some $10/$15 and $25 minimum tables. Each had various maximum bet levels.

    I avoided the CSM tables but was able to settle down to a $10/$200 table with a shoe and play for a few hours. I didn't count, but left the table out ahead just using basic strategy.
  • A $10/$200 table?

    It's a pity I didn't know that fallsview did have non-CSM tables. I went to the older casino, saw the CSMs and gave up for the night. I went by the new casino the next day, but was hurrying to Toronto (was with nongamblers) so couldn't stay and play.

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