Blackjack tournament action appears to making a comeback, especially in Northwest Indiana, with two big tournaments scheduled on Saturday at Horseshoe and Four Winds. You’ll find all the details in this week’s “Bonus Round-Up”.

Four Winds has long held regularly scheduled blackjack tournaments the first Tuesday of every month while Horseshoe has just started placing a priority on them.

The game remains incredibly popular in spite of the extraordinary measures casino executives have taken through the years to combat the advances made by the players.

Today's blackjack nevertheless remains the one casino game that players can "handicap" in much the same way that horse players study the races.

In horse racing parlance, a horse's future can be judged by his past. When playing blackjack, it is possible to use information collected from past deals out of any one shoe to predict with an escalating degree of accuracy what will happen in the remaining deals.

Using what has become known as "basic strategy" when playing blackjack gives the player an edge founded not on empirical knowledge, but rather sound mathematical principles and probability.

If you take this one step further by using a card-counting technique, you can increase your advantage over other players even further.

Future throws of the dice or spins of the roulette wheel are totally independent of what happened in the past. Not so with blackjack.

That's why casino supervisors will not allow anyone to take paper and pencil to the blackjack table with them. If you're going to use your brain when playing the game, you must keep your knowledge in your head.

Scores of gaming writers have written books and articles about blackjack, capitalizing on the perception among the public at large that the game is close to being beatable if you use maximum strategy, keep a running count of the cards, and have a bankroll sufficient in size to stretch out over the long haul. Short-term results, even with top of the line play, can put you in the red.

If you haven’t played in a while, I suggest giving it a try.

BONUS ROUND-UP

AMERISTAR: Don’t miss out on all the action in the property’s plush dedicated baccarat room with tournament action held on a regular basis twice weekly. On Thursdays registration takes place from 6. to 10 p.m. with the cards flying at 7 p.m. On Sundays the registration is from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with play commencing at 7 p.m. On both days a drawing is held at 11:30 p.m. to select a $1,000 cash prize winner from among the participants.

BLUE CHIP: The “Hot Seat” promotion is being held every Friday and Sunday this month from 1 to 7 p.m. Two table game “hot seats” will be randomly drawn at the top of each hour. The player who is selected and actively playing in the “hot seat” will win $50 in casino chips. Each winner has the option to keep the $50 or trade it in for a mystery envelope and the chance to double their prize to $100 in chips.

FOUR WINDS: The $25,000 “Ace of Hearts” Blackjack Tournament will be held this Saturday at the New Buffalo, Michigan location. A buy-in of $144 is required to reserve your spot for this exclusive event. Just visit the cashier any time prior to the event. Space is limited to the first 144 participants. Payouts will be made to the first 11 finishers, including $6,750 to first, $4,500 to second, $3,500 to third, $2,500 to fourth, $2,000 to fifth, $1,750 to sixth, and $800 to seventh through 11th. Please visit the table games area for complete details.

HARRAH’S JOLIET: There’ll be a T-Shirt giveaway on Friday from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. Saturday. Visit the promotions area and show a representative that you are logged into the PlaybyTR app.

HOLLYWOOD JOLIET: The “Hot Summer – Hot Seat” drawings will continue on Thursdays in July. One winner will be selected via floor scan every half hour. If the winner is actively playing with their Marquee Rewards card properly inserted in the machine they will win $100. Also, everyone actively playing at the same slot bank as the winner will receive a $40 gift card.

HORSESHOE: Another big $50,000 winner-take-all blackjack tournament will take place Saturday. Reservations are required from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the promotions desk. Space is limited. The preliminary rounds begin at 11 p.m., the quarter-finals at 2:30 p.m., the semi-finals at 4:30 p.m., and the final round at 5:30 p.m…also for blackjack players, $21,000 tournaments are being held every Tuesday in June. Share in over $5,000 each tournament day. Registration is from 5:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. at the promotions desk. Tournament play is held from 6 to 10 p.m.

MAJESTIC STAR: Just two more chances to win some cash in the $150,000 Lucky Putt promotion being held every Friday this month from 6. to 10 p.m. Four winners at the top of each hour will receive $500 in Promo Cash and the opportunity to “putt” for more. Make the 2-foot putt and win $50, the 4-foot putt $100, the 6-foot putt $150, and the 8-foot putt $200. In other words, make all four putts and win an additional $500. Visit Majestic Rewards for details.

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