It’s perfectly okay to rock up to a blackjack table and play without studying blackjack strategies. A complete novice can play this game which is just about trying to get 21 or as close to 21 with two or more cards. We’ve all probably played it at home, after all. Maybe with small change or play money.
All you do is take one card and place a bet on the strength of that card. You then get a second card and decide what to do. You can ask for another card and stick or if you’ve gone over 21, then you have bust, and the dealer takes your stake. The dealer then plays his cards.
If the dealer gets 20, for example, and sticks, then he must pay 21’s. Of course, the dealer won’t know what you have unless you asked for a card without placing a bet, in which case the card is revealed.
Basic Blackjack Strategies & Tactics
The game of blackjack in casinos is played so that the dealer’s first card is shown. This opens up the game to a set of decisions that amount to optimal play. It’s a case of learning these off by heart and that will take some time. The basic strategy is to know what the optimal decision to make for each possible outcome.
The basic strategy outlines whether you should take a hit, stand, split, or double down. Splitting is possible if you get a pair and means you can play two hands. Doubling down is when you increase your bet by 100% but you can only take one more card in this event.
Advanced Blackjack Strategies
Learning optimal outcomes may take a little time, but is possible for most people. It will allow you to play better and win more but it won’t allow you to beat the house’s edge. What will put the game in your favour is card counting. Card counting is not technically illegal but a casino will throw you out if they suspect you of doing it.
Card counting is a method used by advanced players where they track the cards with their memory. It’s not a case of memorising each card that is dealt. The player attaches a value of -1, 0, or 1 to the cards that are played. 2-6 are given a score of 1, 7 through 9 are counted as 0, and aces and high cards are counted as -1.
How Card Counting Works
The counter then divides the score by the number of decks being played to get a true value. The player then decides to bet more if it’s high and they bet less if it’s lower since the odds are not in their favour.
It takes practice as the game is played so fast, but it does give players an edge over the house. To counter this, casinos use things like shuffle machines that eliminate discarded cards which immediately go back into the pack. However, there are still many B & M casinos that use traditional dealers and not shuffle machines.