Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

An Easy Way to Become a Good Blackjack Player


Learning to play the game of casino Blackjack reasonably well is not rocket science, regardless of what the dozens of books on the subject would have you believe.

Playing professionally at the expert level, as is true of any game, is indeed complex and takes years to perfect. But anyone can become a good recreational player and have a fighting chance against the casino simply by learning some very easy rules.

So, if you're tired of throwing all your money away on brain-numbing slot machines, read on!

Blackjack can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Using card counting and advanced techniques, you can actually have a slight advantage over the house in certain conditions. That is, if you are willing to spend hundreds of hours learning and practicing, plus hundreds of hours each year playing!

Only a few of us have this kind of dedication.

The "beginner strategy" described below is designed for those of you who have never played Blackjack before or have played only a few times (and are tired of losing!). It requires that you learn only four simple rules. You can memorize these rules in 30 minutes or less.

Well, actually, much less!

You may have heard of the term "Blackjack basic strategy". The Blackjack basic strategy is a set of betting and hit/stand rules to statistically maximize your chances of winning. While not complex, it will still take some time and quite a bit of practice to learn and apply consistently.

For beginners, or very occasional players who don't want to spend hours practicing the Blackjack basic strategy, here is a Beginner Strategy that won't give you a headache trying to learn.

While this will not give you the same low odds against you as the true Blackjack Basic Strategy (about .5%), it produces a low 1.5% or so edge for the casino, still one of the best odds you'll find in any casino game.

You won't lose your shirt and you'll have a fighting chance of winning if you encounter a favorable run of cards.

It should only take a few minutes to learn these four simple Blackjack rules, though you should practice for a couple of hours to get comfortable with them before actually playing in a casino game.

FIRST, A SHORT AND EASY LESSON ON THE GAME RULES

If you already know how to play Blackjack, you can skip this section. Otherwise, it will only take a few minutes to learn the simple playing rules.

CARD VALUES

Tens and face cards count as 10, Aces count as either 1 or 11 (your choice), and all other cards have a count equal to their face value.

THE PLAY

All players play against the dealer, not against one another. Each player makes their bet and the dealer starts out by dealing two cards to each player and two cards to himself. The dealer's second card is dealt face-up for all players to see. If the dealer has a "Blackjack" (and Ace and a ten or face card), he will turn it over and automatically wins all bets, unless a player also has a Blackjack, in which case it's a tie.

Then, starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player has the choice of standing (not drawing any more cards) or being dealt additional cards. Play continues with that player until the player stands or "busts" (gets a card count that totals more than 21). After all players have made their decisions (or busted), the dealer draws additional cards to either reach a total of 17 or higher (when they must automatically stop), or bust. If the dealer doesn't bust, all remaining player's hands with a higher card total win, and those with a lower card total lose.

One very critical point to remember is this: you goal is not to get a card count as close to 21 as possible, but to get closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over. The goal is to beat the dealer! Thus, your decisions on whether or not draw additional cards are based on the value of the dealer's up card.

DOUBLING DOWN, SPLITTING PAIRS AND INSURANCE

There are three special bets you can make after the first two cards are dealt. Doubling down means you can double your original bet after you receive your first two cards. You then receive one - and only one - additional card.

Splitting pairs means that when you receive any pair on your first two cards, you can split them into two separate hands and play each one independently (of course, you must place an additional bet equal to your first bet on the second hand).

Taking insurance means that if the dealer's up card is an Ace, you can wager an additional amount equal to half your original bet as "insurance" in case the dealer has a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, you lose your original bet but your insurance bet is paid at 2 to 1, so you break even.

"HARD HANDS" VERSUS "SOFT HANDS"

In order to understand and apply any Blackjack strategy, you need to learn the difference between "hard" and "soft" hands. This is because the strategies for various plays are different depending on whether you have a soft hand or a hard hand.

A "soft" hand is one that has an Ace which is counted as 11 (remember: Aces can be counted as either one or 11). For example, a hand composed of an Ace and a 4 is called a soft 15.

A hand that either contains no Aces or the Ace is counted as a 1 is called a "hard" hand. For example, a hand composed of a 6 and a 9 is a hard 15. A hand with an Ace and 4 is called a soft 15 (11 plus 4), but if you then draw an 8 you have to count the Ace as 1 instead of 11, giving you a hard 13 (because counting it as 11 would give you a "bust" hand of 23).

FOUR SIMPLE RULES

Here are four Blackjack basic strategy rules that anyone can easily remember. Always adhere to them exactly and you will be playing better then the majority of people who sit down at a blackjack table.

While these four rules do not represent "perfect" Blackjack basic strategy, they give you a great deal of the advantage of a perfect basic strategy and are very simple to memorize.

1. If the dealer's up card is 7 or higher, continue to draw cards until you have a hard count of at least 17 or higher, or a soft count of 18 or higher.

2. If the dealer's up card is 6 or lower, draw cards until you have at least 12. Stop when you have 12 or higher.

3. Double down when your first two cards total 10 or 11, IF the dealer has a 9 or lower.

4. Always split aces and eights. Do not split any other pairs.

And that's it! These four simple rules will take you out of the "sucker" category, keep you out of serious trouble and ensure that the house edge is around 1.5% or so - some of the best odds you'll get in a casino.

Once you've mastered this easy system, learn the full Blackjack Basic Strategy and you'll whittle that house edge down to almost zero. Good luck!

Tom is the webmaster for http://www.blackjack-for-everyone.com, which is a website dedicated to the beginner through serious recreational Blackjack player.


MORE RESOURCES:

Kentucky casino supporters are increasingly mum
The Courier-Journal
While no candidate for Kentucky governor is actively campaigning against a constitutional amendment on casino gambling, the issue appears to be waning, even among its supporters. Champions of casino gambling aren't saying much, although the issue is ...



New Jersey Law Journal

As Casino Gambling Busts, Atlantic City Firms Play On
New Jersey Law Journal
The planned shuttering of three casinos over Labor Day weekend or soon after—Revel, Showboat and Trump Plaza—would seem to have dealt a cruel hand to the legal industry in Atlantic City, N.J. But, nearly four decades after gambling was legalized in ...
Future looking like the past in Atlantic CityCapital New York
Death of Atlantic City casinos could be omen for NYThe Journal News / Lohud.com
Atlantic City Mayor Optimistic Despite the Breaking Wave of Casino ClosuresCBS Local
CNBC -Worcester Telegram -Newsworks.org
all 387 news articles »


Boston Globe

Christian right, political left unite in opposing casinos
Boston Globe
Politics famously makes strange bedfellows, but this odd coupling is as strange as it gets: On the issue of casino gambling, the liberal left and the Christian right share common ground, united in hoping to keep the gambling industry out of Massachusetts.



New York Times

The Crowded Market for Casino Gambling
New York Times
More than half the population in the Northeast now lives within 25 miles of a casino featuring video lotteries, table games or slot machines, up from about 10 percent a decade ago. As the market grows crowded, many older casinos are declining or going ...
As Casino Business Softens, Atlantic City Promoting Its Non-Gambling ...CBS Local
Lawmakers to consider changing laws to allow casinos outside of Atlantic CityNews 12 New Jersey
Revel casino to close: What's next for Atlantic City?NJ.com
Businessweek
all 480 news articles »


Baltimore's casino reality [Editorial]
Baltimore Sun
Chad Barnhill is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore He gives a tour of the $442-million casino. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video). 12:29 p.m. EDT, August 26, 2014. Tonight, Baltimore becomes a casino ...



Casino gambling: Any hope has faded
Foster's Daily Democrat
During a recent editorial board meeting, Gov. Maggie Hassan pooh-poohed the notion that the casino industry is in decline and therefore it is a bad bet for New Hampshire to expand casino gambling. The governor brushed aside our challenge by saying she ...

and more »


New Jersey Law Journal

Poll finds majority of New Jersey residents still oppose casino gambling ...
Press of Atlantic City
A majority of state residents continue to oppose expanding casino gambling outside of Atlantic City, according to a new poll, although residents are essentially split on adding casinos to the Meadowlands or Monmouth Park.
Garden State majority opposed to casinos outside Atlantic CityNJ TODAY
New Jersey residents unsure on casinos outside Atlantic City gambling meccaWABC-TV
Poll: N.J. residents split on gambling outside Atlantic CityPhilly.com
Burlington County Times
all 138 news articles »


LegalUSPokerSites.com

Progressive Slots Network Links New Jersey and Nevada Casino Gambling
LegalUSPokerSites.com
The states of Nevada and New Jersey launched the beginnings of a multi-state progressive jackpot network this week. The two states introduced of a cooperative progressive slots network, linking Las Vegas with Atlantic City slots. The multi-state ...
Nearly A Third Of The Casino Floor Space In Atlantic City Will Be Inactive By ...CardPlayer.com

all 42 news articles »


Investing in Casino Gambling
Wealth Daily
Anyone who has spent any amount of time at a casino — whether a brick-and-mortar locality or an online gaming site — knows that the odds always favor the house. After all, gaming companies wouldn't be in business for long if they didn't retain an ...

and more »


Casino gambling in Myrtle Beach unlikely, SC politicians say
The State
MYRTLE BEACH — Every few years, you can bet on hearing the renewed debate about casinos possibly coming to the Grand Strand. Those who support casinos say that the facilities would boost tourism to those who are looking to gamble while opponents ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.