Friday, December 19, 2014

Blackjack Mistakes That You Should Avoid

All Blackjack players usually have a fair idea, right or wrong, of how to play the game. Only, many players just knowingly or unknowingly ignore the Blackjack Basic Strategy, make mistakes, and either decrease their chances of winning or increase their losses. Online resources on Blackjack classify these mistakes into several categories which many times are just counter points of the Basic Strategy. To keep it simple, let us just say that playing against the Basic Strategy is always a mistake. Now some mistakes are more commonly made than others and in this page, I will try to list those Blackjack mistakes. Keep reading...




Monday, December 15, 2014

The Correct Way to Play Blackjack: Basic Strategy

Blackjack Basic Strategy is the correct way of playing Blackjack and its purpose is to keep the casino's long-term winning margin (house edge) to around 0.50%. This house edge is calculated by simulating millions of hands in a computer and depends on the Blackjack rules followed in a casino. For example in a 6-deck Blackjack, by making just one change of allowing doubling only on 9-10-11 instead of any first two cards, the house edge will go up from 0.55% to 0.64%. Still, whatever the rules in a casino be, not playing by the basic Strategy will cost the player heavily and will increase the casino edge substantially. In this page, you will see a graphic representation of Blackjack Basic Strategy, significance of some casino rules that increase or decrease winning odds, and tips for fine-tuning of the basic strategy. Also, please remember that Basic Strategy does not guarantee winning but instead will only help improve your long term winning average. It is recommended to play at least 100 hands of Blackjack at a time, so please divide your bet amount in such a way that you are able to play 100 hands. On a Blackjack table with a minimum bet of 100 units of money, you need to have 10,000 units of money with you. Play just for fun and always know that in the short or long term, Blackjack is never going to make you rich or richer. Keep reading...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Easy to Learn Blackjack for New Players

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games all over the world. This game is available in almost all of the casinos in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Macau. Because it involves a few simple rules and a bit of strategy to remember, playing Blackjack can be a lot of fun. Strategy means a legal system designed to beat the dealer or to at least minimize your loss. It will not hurt to know that Blackjack is one of the very few games where the casino's margin called "house edge" is the lowest, something like 0.50% if the player follows the appropriate basic strategy. House Edge in Blackjack will also depend on the Blackjack Rules that a casino follows. Though the game is generally similar across casinos, some casinos follow liberal (player friendly) rules or tight (anti-player) rules. I will try to keep this page very simple for the benefit of those who are yet to play Blackjack. Keep reading...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why Casino Owners Love Roulette and Baccarat

I used to wonder why most of the casinos I visit in India, Sri Lanka, Macau, or Singapore, have more tables of Roulette and Baccarat than those of Blackjack. After a while I began to understand the probable reasons. In some places the players found Blackjack too technical or less-paying. Baccarat or Roulette on the other hand are more fun to play. Not much of a strategy needed, just listen to your inner voice and place the bet. Shout with joy upon a winning and bang the table or even tear away the cards in anger (Baccarat) upon losing. The story in Macau and Singapore is a little different. Casinos are big, seasoned players from all over the world play in those casinos, and as such, the demand for Blackjack or Three Card Poker is quite strong there. Still, you will have to walk around a lot to spot a Blackjack or Three Card Poker table whereas Baccarat and Roulette tables would be impossible to miss. That can only mean that the casino owners themselves prefer Roulette and Baccarat over other table games. Keep reading for more...

Alibaba Indian Restaurant Pattaya

If you were to ask me about the most interesting thing about Alibaba Indian Restaurant in Pattaya, I would say that its the decor. This restaurant is actually decorated like the Alibaba's cave and his treasure is scattered in its every nook and corner. The food here is Indian mostly, maybe the Tandoori part of the menu can be somehow related to Alibaba. Its expensive too, afterall you can't expect to have the privilege of dining in Alibaba's cave on the cheap. To give an idea of the prices here, let me mention about the Indian Set Meal called "Thali". A  vegetarian Thali here would cost 590 THB + 10% Service Charge + 7% VAT. For non-vegetarian Thali the base price is 675 THB. A veggie Thali in most other Indian restaurants in Bangkok and Pattaya would cost around 300-350 THB. But to be fair to Alibaba, the Thali here is huge - 2 fried & two tandoori snacks, 4 curries, three types of Indian breads, two types of rice, and a dessert (Gulab Jamun). Still, I would consider this pricing a little unfair because what normal person can eat so much at a time. Remember, sharing of a Thali is not permitted in any Indian restaurant anywhere. Keep reading for more...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Travel Options from Chiang Mai Airport to City, Prepaid Taxi and More

There are a few options to travel from Chiang Mai airport to your hotel in the city, like a prepaid taxi, a Songthaew (two benches fixed in the back of a truck), or a bus. Out of these three, the first two seem practical and the prepaid taxi the most convenient. The bus needs to be ruled out because it will have fixed timings and a fixed route, both of which may not suit your timing and your hotel in Chiang Mai. I guess you would not like the hassle of searching and waiting for a bus outside the airport just to save 100 Thai baht especially if you are there on holiday. The Songthaew (see picture below) is a viable option. You need to step out of the airport and start walking towards the exit. Either inside or just outside the airport you will see a stationary or moving Songthaew that will take you to your hotel for less than 100 THB. Now if that sounds like too much trouble too, just take a prepaid taxi. Keep reading...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mrs Balbir's Indian Restaurant Soi 11/1 Sukhumvit Bangkok

Mrs Balbir's (Soi 11/1 near Nana BTS) is one of the many Indian restaurants near Nana/Asoke BTS Stations in Sukhumvit tourist area of Bangkok.  This one stands out though in a few ways - the dining area is large and beautifully furnished, the menu though largely North Indian & Tandoori has some unusual preparations on offer, beautiful pictures of all the food they serve are in the menu to make choice easy for those unfamiliar with Indian food, and the prices are not too steep. Food is well prepared and well presented and hence the probability of a satisfactory dining experience at Mrs. Balbir's is quite high. Speaking of unusual, I found Cheese & Bell Pepper Pakora (THB 250), Stuffed Tomato Curry (THB 210), Chicken Tikka Masala Pasta (THB 250), Black Pepper Paratha (THB 70), Mango Salad (THB 165), and Eggplant Raita (THB 130). For those looking for a South Indian flavour, there are Chicken/Lamb Madras THB 265/360), South Indian Fish Curry (THB 360), and Malabar Coconut Tiger Prawn Curry (THB 360). They have alcoholic / virgin drinks, cocktails, and Indian desserts too. The restaurant opens Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner from 11.30am to 10.30pm. Phone: 02-255-2536. Keep reading for more...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Radisson Suites Soi 13 Sukhumvit Bangkok Review

Radisson Suites at 23/2, Sukhumvit Soi 13, Near Nana BTS Station is a fine Carlson Group hotel that has large and comfy Superior rooms starting at THB 2300 per night without breakfast. Free wifi and a free tuk tuk service to Nana / Asoke BTS stations is covered in the price. At check-in, they offered me breakfast 299 THB, that was not a bad deal. The location of the hotel is really good if one is willing to walk about 5 minutes into Soi 13. The lobby and the adjoining cafe called "mauve" or something like that are really pleasantly decorated. The rooms have all the essentials that a business hotel would have, like a large king bed, a work desk, a cabinet with bathrobes, slippers, hair dryer, ironing board and iron, a safe, a large bathroom, and a really smart TV. The TV deserves a special mention. Upon switching on, the TV screen showed a personalized welcome message for me, and the hotel facilities and TV channels were clubbed category-wise to make navigation easy. Keep reading...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Road Trip From Siem Reap to Bangkok via Poipet on Direct Nattakan Bus

Travelling between Thailand and Cambodia over land has always been a scam prone adventure. There are endless stories of tourists getting ripped off by way of a super expensive  "official" Cambodia visa even before the bus arrives at a Cambodia border. Also the buses leaving for Siem Reap from the Khao San area in Bangkok are often called "scam buses" because of their variable pricing & the stuffing of tourists into small vans after crossing into Cambodia and even mis-selling of hotels in Siem Reap by the bus staff. However in the present day, one has the option of avoiding most of these scams by taking a "Company Direct VIP Bus" for road travel between Bangkok and Siem Reap / Phnom Penh. In this article I will share all the essential details and my personal experience of a road trip from Siem Reap to Bangkok in a "Company Direct VIP Bus". Please note that this option is way more expensive as compared to the cheaper bus/van combos that start at approximately USD 10 per person. This VIP service operated by Nattakan Cambodia Co., Limited in Cambodia and The Transport Company in Bangkok costs USD 28 per person one-way including a free pickup from your hotel, a frugal "breakfast" and a packed "rice/curry" lunch. The ride starts at 8.00am in Siem Reap and ends in Bangkok Mo Chit Terminal after 4.00pm. Keep reading for details...
Blog by: Narinder Singh