Quitting at the right moment is the key to winning money at blackjack, according to William E. Blachly of Blachly Data Systems in New York.
That's part of the strategy he teaches in "The Serious Blackjack Tutor" program.
"It is not the usual game," Blachly said in describing his program, which will play on IBM PC-Jr., PC, XT, AT, PS/2 or any compatible equipment. The program requires one 360 floppy drive, DOS 2.0 or higher, 128K RAM (for random access memory) and any monitor.
How much time will it take to become proficient at blackjack using the program?
"I estimate 30 to 45 minutes to read the documentation, one to three hours to test all the modules for review and several weeks of practice to become proficient enough to win money consistently," Blachly said.
The program is easy to use. No installation is necessary. You just switch to the appropriate floppy drive and enter "MENU" to begin.
Blachly said his "new playing strategy" was developed from detailed statistical analyses of more than 20 million hands.
The program differs from some of the game-type blackjack programs I have tried in that it is a teacher rather than a game in which you are competing with the program itself. This one provides instant on-screen help when you don't play to your best advantage and emphasizes learning, practice and research, according to Blachly.
But the program also allows flexibility for developing your own betting and quitting systems.
The program, which is not copy protected, is like other blackjack programs in that it provides a segment on learning basic strategy as well as betting and playing strategies. The program differs from the other programs in that most strategies offered are based on use of only one deck of cards instead of eight. As a result, much of the strategy offered in some of the other programs is incorrect, according to Blachly.
"Based on earlier computer studies," Blachly wrote in the 16-page manual that comes with the program, "experts believed that careful blackjack players enjoyed a slight advantage over the house and that a person who played long enough would win.
"New research, however, proves that these theories are no longer valid. Because casinos currently use eight decks in a shoe, the odds have now been tilted in their favor. As a result, the longer you play, the more likely you are to lose.
"To win, therefore, you must know how you will bet and when you will quit before you enter the casino. You must also know in advance how much you want to win, how much money you need for play and which table stakes fit your goal."
The program sells for $27.95 plus $3 for shipping and handling and comes with "an unconditional money-back guarantee" from Blachly. To order, or for more information, write Blachly Data Systems, 148 W. 23rd St., Suite 7-A, New York, N.Y. 10011, or call (212) 255-4033.
Apple Byters swap meet
Apple Byters Corps members will hold their annual swap night at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Room 116 Bacon Hall at Buffalo State College.
For those who have never attended one, swap night is the time when members and guests can buy, sell or trade Apple II series and Macintosh software and hardware. Participants have to observe one important rule: They can't sell a backup copy of a program, only the original disk along with documentation.
In addition to the swap night activities, the club also will hold its holiday party, which was rescheduled from Dec. 21. Food and beverages will be provided.
"You do not have to be a member to participate," said Marge Fraser, a member of the user group's board of directors.
She and other board members said the organization welcomes new (as well as old) owners of Apple II and Macintosh computers and provides help to those who need it.
The Apple Byters meet on the first Wednesday and the third Friday of every month. For more information, call 649-6254. Keep in mind that whenever evening activities at Buffalo State College are canceled by 6:30 p.m. because of inclement weather, regular club meetings will be canceled, too. Listen to your radio for details.
Personal Computers welcomes your questions and programs as well as advance notification of computer group meetings. Mail your correspondence to Lonnie Hudkins, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.