Blackjack is among the most popular casino games. It has found as much acclaim online as in brick-and-mortar casinos worldwide. It is a unique casino game in that it is as much a game of luck as it is a game of skill. As a player, you can always make the right decisions to increase your odds of winning. Here are some of the most effective tips to help you win more when playing this game.
Choose a Casino & Games with Simpler Rules
An important strategy to increase your odds of winning is to choose a casino and game with simpler rules. It is recommended to choose games that pay 3 to 2. Look for tables with the following rules:
- Dealer makes a stand on soft 17
- You’re allowed to double down on any 2 cards
- You’re allowed to double after pair splitting
- Choose games with fewer decks to increase your odds of winning
It is also ideal if the game allows surrendering.
When to Hit
You should hit when you have the following cards:
- Hand total of 8 or 12 to 16 and the dealer’s up card is 7 to 10 or an Ace
- Hand total of 9 and the dealer upside card is 7 to 9
- Hand total of 10 and the dealer upside card is 10
- Hand total of 11 and the dealer upside card is Ace
When to Double
You should double when you have the following hand total:
- Hand total of 9 and the dealer has an upside card of 3 to 5
- Hand total of 10 and the dealer doesn’t have an upside card as 10 or Ace
- Hand total of 11 and the dealer doesn’t have an upside card as Ace
At the same time, you should also know when it is best to stand. You should stand when you have a hand total of 13 or more and the dealer’s upside card is a 6 or less. You should also stand when your hand total is 17 or more. You can split your hand when you have 8s and Aces.
So make sure to follow these tips if you want to increase your odds of winning at blackjack.
11 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment
Tickets to concerts, plays, movies: you could live without them, but saving money shouldn’t mean sucking the fun out of life.
Here’s how to curb your entertainment spending without giving up your favorite pastimes.
1. Trim your services
Explore different pricing options for the services you already have. Take steps to lower your internet and cable bills, such as negotiating, downgrading your plans or bundling the two.
2. Seek an alternative to cable
If trimming won’t save you enough, cut the cord completely. Based on the average cable bill cost, this could put upward of $100 back in your pocket each month.
Axing cable doesn’t mean you’ll be starved for content. If you can survive without watching networks like CNN and AMC live, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video feature movies, TV and original series libraries. If you must have extra channels, consider replacing your traditional cable package with a service like Sling TV, which offers live TV for a fraction of the cost of cable.
Looking to save even more? If you subscribe to multiple streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, drop the one you use less often.
3. Share memberships
Split the cost of a paid membership with a friend or relative. For example, Amazon Prime memberships cost $99 per year, but members can share benefits with another adult for no extra charge by creating an Amazon Household. This gives both parties access to free movie and TV streaming, Prime shipping and Kindle books for about $50 each. Or you can cut your Costco membership fee in half by sharing with a spouse or roommate. Members receive a free household card that they can share with another person over 18 years old who lives at the same address.
4. Shop wholesale clubs
Wholesale clubs, such as Costco and Sam’s Club, have an abundance of affordable entertainment. They sell discounted movie and theme park tickets, restaurant gift cards and more in bulk, which is helpful, especially if you’re shopping for multiple people. You’ll also find inexpensive electronics, books, movies and games.
5. Get a library card
With a public library card in hand, the entertainment world is your oyster: You don’t have to buy, or even rent, to get your fix. Use your library card to surf the web or check out movies, books, audiobooks, games and music for free.
6. Attend free events
Take advantage of street fairs, concerts in the park or other free happenings in your community. Some venues that normally charge admission — such as museums, zoos and aquariums — host free-entry days once per month. Next time you plan a dinner out or hit the bars, look for joints that feature live music or comedy shows. Check your local newspaper, coffee shop or university for a list of upcoming events.
If the sporting event or concert isn’t free, you still might be able to attend at no cost by volunteering at the venue. Just be aware that you might not fully enjoy the event if you’re busy checking tickets or collecting trash.
8. Ask about discounts
Identification is all some people need to save money. Seniors, students and members of the military — or their families — often qualify for discounts at retailers, movie theaters, theme parks, national parks and restaurants. Kids often receive discounted admissions well.
If who you are doesn’t cut it, your membership status might. For example, AAA and AARP memberships come with savings benefits. Ask if you’re eligible for special rates when making entertainment purchases.
9. Buy used
Save serious money by buying televisions, tablets, computers, movies and video games secondhand. Shop thrift stores and used book stores, and check retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart for refurbished tech.
10. Use credit card perks
Under the right circumstances, plastic is more budget-friendly than cash. Your credit card might offer points or cash back on tickets to the theater or sporting events, electronics purchases and other entertainment-related transactions. Certain cards give exclusive discounts on or early access to event tickets through partnerships and promotions.
11. Cut back
An obvious way to save on entertainment without giving up your “wants” entirely is to adjust your budget and set a lower spending limit for entertainment expenses. For instance, rent a movie every other week instead of weekly, or refrain from buying the latest gaming console if your old one still works.
Article source: nerdwallet.com
Why it’s so important that Hollywood’s powerful women are standing up for all female workers
It appears that 2018 is already shaping up to be the year of women working together across race and class divides to fight back against sexism and sexual harassment. On the very first day of January, new movement Time’s Up was announced via an open letter from women working in the entertainment industry. While it could have just been a statement against the alleged sexual assault and harassment of those working in Hollywood, this was a message of solidarity to all “sisters”.
Some very powerful women in the entertainment industry created Time’s Up, but this is not about personal gain – they are using their status to help the disempowered. Time’s Up is all about high profile women using their privilege to highlight and counter sexual discrimination against all women in employment, whatever industry they are in.
The movement is the work of more than 300 female professionals from the fields of television, film and theatre, including producers, actresses, writers and directors. Just a selection of the starry names leading and contributing to the initiative are Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Ashley Judd, America Ferrera, Rashida Jones, Selena Gomez, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria and Ellen Page, as well as Donna Langley, the chairwoman of Universal Pictures, and top lawyers Nina L. Shaw and Tina Tchen. As the days have gone on, more notable women have been publicly adding their names to the campaign and contributing to the fund, too, using the Twitter hashtag #TIMESUP.
Hollywood’s feminists have previously been accused of representing an elitist group, who are far removed from the struggles of ordinary, less glamorous women. The Time’s Up movement is a serious attempt to counter these accusations through showing solidarity with working women of all backgrounds and ethnicities.
Their aim, is to raise $15m for a legal defense fund that can benefit low income victims of sexual misconduct. They also want to campaign for new legislation to protect women from harassment, and work towards gender parity at studios and talent agencies. A request has also been issued for celebrities to raise awareness by wearing black while walking the red carpet at the Golden Globe awards on January 7.
The campaign’s cross class solidarity was prompted by a letter of support from the predominantly Latina Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. This national female farm workers organisation wrote to the women of Hollywood who had spoken out against sexual abuse following allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others.
In a moving section of their letter, the farm workers wrote:
We do not work under bright stage lights or on the big screen. We work in the shadows of society in isolated fields and packinghouses that are out of sight and out of mind for most people in this country. Your job feeds souls, fills hearts and spreads joy. Our job nourishes the nation with the fruits, vegetables and other crops that we plant, pick and pack.
Even though we work in very different environments, we share a common experience of being preyed upon by individuals who have the power to hire, fire, blacklist and otherwise threaten our economic, physical and emotional security.
While the farm workers might be expected to level accusations of elitism against their wealthy sisters, they stood with them. Despite the enormous gulf in social and economic status, they offered their support – “Please know that you’re not alone. We believe and stand with you.”
This act of solidarity clearly touched the entertainment professionals who have, through the Time’s Up movement, taken the first concrete steps to support poor working women. The Time’s Up letter mirrors the language used by Alianza, while intiatives like the legal defence fund are a clear demonstration that this is more than just a PR exercise
To the members of Alianza and farmworker women across the country, we see you, we thank you, and we acknowledge the heavy weight of our common experience of being preyed upon, harassed, and exploited by those who abuse their power and threaten our physical and economic security.
This collective action taken by so many women in the film, television and theatre industries is unprecedented. Using the celebrity status created by the very industry in which they have suffered might just be the best way to seek to protect all women from abuse, harassment and sexism.