What is Real and Imaginary in Blackjack? Part III

And welcome back for Round 3. I’m going to hope that you are still adding to your blackjack knowledge. Like I said last time, you can never know too much when it comes to a mental game. You want to build your strategy, add to it, as it can help you as a player. You want to beat the dealer, yes? Then let’s continue, shall we?

  • If you have blackjack and are faced with a dealer who is showing an ace, take even money.

-Don’t take even money. Even if you push you will still end up with more money over the long haul than if you were to take even money. This is yet another way for the casinos to, at the last moment, try to raise their edge just a bit. They do this because if you take even money, in the long run they won’t have to pay you as much. If you are holding a blackjack do not fear a dealer with an ace. A dealer with an ace is the casino’s buffer against you earning the money that you should in blackjack. Remember—do not give in to even money if you have a blackjack.

  • A dealer has a 10 and you have a 16: to hit or not to hit?

– Not to hit. Actually what you should do here, if the option is available to you, is surrender. I know no one likes to surrender in blackjack. It feels like you failed somehow. Not so. Think of it as saving yourself. True you aren’t going to be winning any money, but you aren’t losing all of it. If you didn’t surrender and lost, there went all of your bet. But if you surrender, you can at least recover half of your bet, which is better than losing it all in my opinion. If surrender isn’t available, look at what your 16 is made of. If it’s three or more cards or is the result of splitting a pair, then stand. Otherwise hit.

  • It matters what seat you are sitting in at a blackjack table.

– Really? And I’m going to put a rabbit’s foot in my pocket, wear my lucky socks and turn around in a clockwise circle three times. I understand that each of us have our own little superstitions, but really, now. No, it does not matter what seat you are sitting in. There isn’t one chair that’s better than the others, or luckier or unluckier. All chairs have the same odds. It’s the player who is sitting in the chair that makes it lucky or unlucky. If you’re sitting next to a guy who keeps saying that his place at the table is unlucky and causing him to lose, watch him. Chances are he’s just not a skilled player. Blackjack is a mental game, a game of skill. Practice your blackjack strategy. The more you practice the better of a player you will become. Leave the seats for someone else to worry about.

Keep an eye out for: What is Real and Imaginary in Blackjack? Part IV

What is Real and Imaginary in Blackjack? Part II

Welcome back for Round 2. I hope you’ve given my last post’s “rules” some thoughts and started incorporating that information into your playing Blackjack strategies. And if not that, then at least tucked it back in your mind for later use. You never know when you’ll be at a table or online and something in the back of your mind will help you beat the dealer. I’m still looking for ways to expand my blackjack knowledge—you can never have too much knowledge, especially in a game where you can change the odds, bring the house’s edge down. It’s a mental game, use your knowledge. That being said, let’s move on.

  • The only way to be a good card counter is to be a genius.

– Nope. Nowhere near true. You do not need to be a genius to count cards in blackjack. That’s what the casinos want you to believe though. Yes, I know I made that sound something like a conspiracy. What it comes down to is the casinos know that any blackjack player who counts cards will have a better chance at winning. And casinos lose money when players win. So they would have you believe that you must posses Einstein-ian intellect in order to count cards. All you really need, at least to start out, is a basic system, such as a Hi-Lo counting system, and the patience to learn it and practice it.

  • Checking your basic strategy card is legal when playing blackjack.

– Now this is true. And not only is it true, but I recommend it. If you are new to blackjack then I highly highly advise it. A casino will not stop you from playing if you choose to have a basic strategy chart with you. It takes awhile have memorized with confidence the entire chart. Do yourself a favor and take a chart with you. If you want to try to play without it, keep it handy in a pocket or a handbag.

  • Losing five hands mine you will win the sixth.

– I’m laughing. Yes, I am. This is most defiantly not true. There is nothing in the blackjack universe that dictates that if you lose five hands, or any number of hands for that matter, you will win the next. Never has a mathematical study shown any such evidence. But I do wonder, why six hands? I’ve heard of lucky seven, and that for some thirteen is lucky rather than unlucky. But six? Never heard of six being associated with luck.

Keep an eye out for: What is Real and Imaginary in Blackjack? Part III

What is Real and Imaginary in Blackjack? Part I

Everyone comes across “rules” when learning to play blackjack. And if not when learning, then certainly when you get to a table. These aren’t rules you’ll find in a blackjack how-to. These are the “rules” that everyone knows and abides by. …Interesting enough that thought. But, really, what is real and what is imaginary when it comes to these “rules?” It’s important to learn what should be taken into consideration in one’s total blackjack strategy, and what should just be ignored.

Let’s look at the following “rules” shall we?

  • If one player misplays his or her hand, then he or she will cause everyone at the table to lose.

-Really. Honestly. Are we really that superstitious? This “rule” is not only very not true, it is also funny to me that someone would believe this. Firstly, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. It does not matter how the people around you are playing. If the guy next to you hits when he should have said stand, well that’s his mistake and it does not effect you. Just make sure you follow basic strategy, and not make the same mistakes.

  • Only idiots will split a pair of 8s when the dealer has a 10 and an Ace.

-No. And if you do split a pair 8s in that instance then pat yourself on the back, okay, maybe not right there at the table where everyone can see you, do it in your head though. Think about it. To not split is to not try. If you stand with a pair of 8s your total is set at 16. If you split and take more cards you have two hands to play and the possibility of getting cards that will a least tie you with the dealer rather than sealing your fate at 16.

  • In a casino with a 6:5 payout, the house edge can be offset by playing at a table with only a single deck used.

-Nope, not true. A 6:5 payout is bad news no matter how many decks are being used or not used. A 6:5 payout puts the house edge at 1.4%. A single deck doesn’t even come close to offsetting this. This is just a sneaky way for a casino to rope in unwise players and take their money. True, we will all lose money when playing, but why throw it away? If you wish to play at a 6:5 table then you might as well offer your money up to the alter of stupid gambling—which is decorated with fritzy neon lights, by the way.

Keep an eye out for: What is Real and Imaginary in Blackjack? Part II

Blackjack Strategy They Don’t Tell You in Books

Chances are, when you were learning to play Blackjack, you read about it in a book or two, and probably online as well. What did you read about? You were given the rules, how the table is set up, the progression of play, and strategies. Focus on that one for a moment. What Blackjack strategies were you given? Basic strategy and card counting; in most places it was also explained to you how those two effected your betting strategy. And then you’re ready to play yes?

Maybe.

Mostly yes, but there might be one more thing to consider.

What about your opponents? True, you’ve read that in Blackjack it’s you versus the dealer, and it’s also the other players against the dealer. But they aren’t against you are they? They can’t be, I mean why would someone play the dealer one on one if the other players were necessary? And everything you’ve read about Blackjack says that it’s player versus the dealer. Not quite.

Let’s go back to the beginning, to what playing Blackjack is about. It’s not only about enjoying yourself and having fun. It’s about winning, about making money. And every single person who is sitting at that table with you or who is playing Blackjack online with you is intent on winning too. So, yes, Blackjack is player versus player.

Your Blackjack strategy for this is to watch your opponents. Look to see if someone is showing signs of excitement, giving away that they have a good hand, maybe even Blackjack. I can here you saying that this is beginning to sound more like Poker. Don’t worry, it’s not, it’s still Blackjack.

Blackjack isn’t anymore complicated than before. The point of watching your opponents is to try to gauge whether they have a good hand or a not so good hand. Say you see that guy who’s cheek just twitched with a bit of a smile, and you caught it. Chances are he’s got a good hand. And maybe your hand is so-so. Don’t bet as much.

As for your Blackjack strategy think of it in this order. Count the cards, remember what’s out on the table, what’s in your hand, and what has yet to be played. Hit or stand based on what basic strategy dictates. Watch your opponents to see if they give away any clues as to the type of hands they have. Taking all of those Blackjack strategies into mind, make your bets accordingly.

Good Blackjack Strategy

What makes for a good Blackjack strategy?

Basic strategy is a good place to start, but is it enough to win?

Realistically, you’re going to need a combination of basic strategy and card counting. Initially you need to be comfortable enough with basic strategy so as not to need to constantly reference a chart—that’s that first thing for an effective blackjack game. Once you’ve got that down, throw a little card counting into your blackjack strategy.

No, that doesn’t mean memorizing the whole deck and the odds of a single deck versus multiple decks. Although you certainly can learn and employ a card counting strategy and, with enough practice, increase the power of your overall Blackjack strategy. Honestly, when you’re first beginning to play, that’s a lot of math and numbers to keep straight on top of remembering which basic strategy option to use for which card combinations. Keep the card counting portion of your strategy simple when first beginning to play Balckjack . This plays into your betting strategy as well

You know you want ten cards and aces. Think of how many tens and aces are in play based on how many decks your playing with. How many have already played? And how many are left? If there’s not a lot of tens and aces left keep your bets down. If you there’s still a decent amount left then your chances of receiving one is better, so raise your bet. That’s how to use simplistic card counting to guide your Blackjack betting strategy.

So at this point your Blackjack strategy is comprised of having the basic strategy charts memorized and using simple card counting to influence your betting strategy. This makes for a good Blackjack strategy for the average player. Keeping those in mind should help decrease the house’s favor, which should increase your chances of winning.