Review: Expert Insight’s Beating Blackjack with Andy Bloch

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Blackjack, you vile temptress. You’ve taken my money on many a Vegas trip, and I wish to settle the score. The Andy Bloch DVD has been a good first step.

Andy, however, had a tough job: This instructional DVD was going to have to stand up to the quality of Phil Gordon’s Poker tutelage, which set a pretty high bar. I have a lot of poker books which i’ve read once or twice maybe, but I’ve watched Phil’s DVD a dozen times. Is it up to the challenge?

The answer is yes, for the most part. And let’s be frank, for this DVD to be useful you’re going to *want* to watch it a few times. Andy hammers it into your head that you must be able to count and count accurately in the atmosphere of a loud and chattering Vegas casino. So, the exercises keep coming, even when Andy’s showing off another tip. You’ll be working on understanding another concept, and Andy will ask, “You still have the count?” This is a big lesson that you will want to latch onto early.

The most important thing for me was Optimal Betting. Like many others, I knew how to count cards and had the general concept of what was going to be a “hot shoe” and when not to put your money down. However, how to change your bets in response completely eluded me. And, admittedly, the DVD’s first explanation of how optimal betting worked blew by so quickly and cryptically I was a bit peeved. But, again, the DVD repeats the lesson over and over, offering different scenarios and taking you step by step through the math.

Okay, I gotta make a comment on production value. There are some moments that are just plain goofy or awkward. They’re minor, but they’re there. Once or twice you’re instructed to count cards and your view of the cards is obstructed, or the hand on third base is just not in the frame. Andy’s a great teacher, but not the best actor, making the delivery of such zingers as “Okay, what’s the situation? The count is +5 and I’m not gonna get this girl’s phone number” a bit painful. (Besides, I saw Jen Creason on the DVD and if she knew the table Andy was playing at before, she’d kick his ass.)

Bad acting and lameish jokes aside, I have to hand it to Expert Insight for the entire second half of the DVD, focusing on team play. They pull no punches in letting you know that team play is *challenging* and not for the faint of heart, while still giving you every tool you need to give it a try for yourself. The idea of “Practice, practice, practice at!” is embedded into your head. And, most importantly, the last 20 minutes is a terrific chance to try and keep the count for yourself while the dealer shouts numbers, Andy narrates, security closes in, and a certain Irish Rock Star gets blacklisted.

For me, it’s easy to look past some of the camp and really dig into the tutorials enclosed within, making this a great pick for me or anyone else interested in not getting raped at the tables anymore. Andy is 100% correct in the fact that Blackjack is beatable if you put the time, effort, and bankroll into it. Andy’s DVD finally filled in the knowledge gaps that was costing me more money than I thought.

Check it out for yourself, and if you put it into practice, the DVD should easily pay for yourself.

Me, I’m playing .05 a hand online, so it may take awhile. 🙂