## Being Dealt Two Aces in Blackjack

There is some debate among novice blackjack players about what happens when you are dealt two Aces. Some say split and some say stand for a hand total of 12. But if you were at the blackjack table, what would you do if you were dealt a pair of Aces?

There are two things for a blackjack player to do when being dealt two Aces straight off in a round: split and then smile because you know the house would rather you not have two Aces.

But back to the splitting part. Yes, the best statistical play is to split and start two hands with 11 apiece rather than working with only one hand that is essentially going to be played out as a hard 12. True you could hit a 12 made up of two Aces, but the odds on splitting are better than playing out two Aces in one hand.

The thing with splitting a pair of Aces is that you have two hands to work with on the blackjack table, and already having one card worth 11 is a good start to building not one, but two strong hands. Of all of the pairs that a blackjack player could split, Aces are the best to have.

There is one more thing with a splitting a pair of dealt Aces that novice blackjack players wonder about: if the pair of Aces is split and a card valued at 10 is dealt to both Aces, do you have two blackjacks or only two hands each worth 21?

As much as I would love to tell you that you are receiving two 3-2 payouts, a blackjack is only considered to be one if the very first two cards dealt add up to 21. Receiving a two hand totals worth 21 on a pair of split Aces does not count as a natural blackjack, either of them.

So now we all have an understanding to split a pair of Aces when dealt one, and that two hands of 21 from a split pair of Aces does not mean two 3-2 payouts will happen.

## Money on Splitting vs. Standing with a Pair of 10s

When being dealt a pair of 10s in blackjack there are really only two options for plays: splitting or standing. You cannot hit, not with a hand total of 20. The rule of thumb with a pair of 10s in a game of blackjack is to stand

## 70% Off of Blackjack Insurance

Before you get all excited, this is not a sale. If you are in a blackjack game where you are wagering \$20 per hand and an insurance wager costs you \$10, this does not mean that for a limited time insurance will only cost \$3. Sorry, if casinos are going to try to hang on to their house edge they are not about to put a sale on insurance.

When I say 70% off of insurance I am talking about the odds of a dealer

## You Busting vs. the Dealer Busting

I am not sure how many blackjack players out there think about this, but have you ever thought about what happens when you bust as opposed to when the dealer busts? If you have not, you just did. I am willing to bet on it.

A blackjack player busting has a different effect than when the dealer busts. And that difference is one of the contributing factors of how the house gets its edge in blackjack over your blackjack odds.

When a blackjack player busts, that is it, you are done. You have lost and you are out of the round and out the money you wagered on the round.

But when a dealer busts he is not losing a wager because he never had to make a wager. But even more of a kick in the pants to your blackjack odds is that if you bust and then the dealer busts, you still lose. This is a result of the fact that the dealer plays last. Imagine that he played first for a moment; say he busted

## Understanding Card Counting

Card counting can be a very useful skill when playing blackjack. But it is a skill that requires time, practice and patience to learn to the point of effectiveness. A good many novice players do not have the correct perception of what card counting is and what it does.

So we will start there, with what card counting is. Card counting is a skill in which the player mentally tracks the flow of cards. This is not an exact count; the purpose of card counting is to give players an idea of when there are more high cards left in the unplayed deck. This is discovered when the count a player is keeping has reached the point that more low cards have been played than high cards.

Once a player has the knowledge that more low cards have been played, leaving a greater number, and therefore likelihood, of high card being dealt, the player can begin raising their bets. Bets are raised at this point because there is a greater chance of being dealt a strong hand if not an outright natural blackjack. When the remaining deck is rich in high cards, there is a greater chance of the player winning, which is why bets are increased at this point.

To sum it up, counting cards in blackjack can give players a long-term advantage over the house by knowing when they are more likely to win, and raising their wagers accordingly.

Now. What card counting is not.

Card counting is not a short cut that will allow players to beat the house. Yes, it will allow players to tilt the odds in their favor, but it is not an instantaneous happening. It is not a flashy skill to be thrown around the casino.

To be successful with card counting in blackjack, time and patience must be applied while learning the counting system of your choice. Players who utilize card counting when playing blackjack also have to understand that they are not going to win every single hand, but that they will win more over the long run.

## Bad Blackjack Strategies: Mimic the Dealer

Are blackjack players mockingbirds? No, really this is a real question not some random thought. The answer is no, blackjack players are not mockingbirds. I only ask this because there is a so-called strategy out there in the blackjack world that tells players that the best way to play is to mimic the dealer.

But as players are not mockingbirds this strategy is a bad idea. And not only because we are not birds. The odds on following this so-called strategy are awful.

You cannot really say that players can even follow basic strategy and mimic the dealer at the same time. The reason for this is that the dealer does not double down or split pairs. The odds that a player can knock off the house

## Bad Blackjack Strategies: Dealer Has a 10 Hole Card

There are some so-called blackjack strategies out there that players no in the know will swear by. Assuming that the dealer has a card worth 10 for a hole card is one such strategy.

Sure on the surface it might sound like an okay strategy to use in blackjack, almost like it is a safety net based on the player assuming the worse. But the statistics do not add up on this one. And it is those statistics that show it as the bad blackjack strategy that it is.

To begin with, and to make the math simple at first, we are going to look at a single deck. In a single suit there are thirteen cards. All of those cards have their face value applied in blackjack except for the three face cards and the Ace which has the ability to be played as a 1 or an 11; the three face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are each worth 10. So out of thirteen cards in a single suit, only four (10, Jack, Queen and King) are worth 10; obviously the other nine cards are not worth 10.

So let

## Dealer Standing on Soft 17 Better than a Dealer Who Hits a Soft 17

The astute blackjack player pays attention to the house rules set by the casino or online casino for their blackjack games. This is why you do not see professional blackjack players playing variations of the game or at blackjack tables with poor house rules.

One such house rule that is of poor quality is allowing a dealer to hit a soft 17.

While on the surface this house rule does not like it would be all that damaging to a player

## Blackjack Games: Pontoon

Of late I have mentioned Pontoon a fair bit. But I have realized that I have never really explained Pontoon.

Pontoon is a blackjack version that is said to hail from England, although it seems to crop up most from Australia. But then Australia was essentially founded by England so there you go.

Pontoon is played with four to eight decks, with the 10s removed from each deck. So the only cards worth 10 in game are the face cards. This has the same effect as removing cards from deck in regular blackjack