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Blackjack Strategies

 

From all casino games, blackjack is the one with the highest potential player advantage over the house. That is, of course, if you use the right strategy. Since you only play against the dealer, and not against all your opponents, like in other games, all the odds are practically in your favor.

Experts have written many books on blackjack and calculated the player’s odds as compared to the house edge, since it’s a well known fact that blackjack is based on mathematics. The bottom line is that the total of your cards and the card the dealer is showing are the two essential elements you have to consider in the course of a game.

For instance, if he has a 10 showing and you’ve got a 16, the normal tendency would be for you to stop here. Still, according to statistics, taking one more card is a lot better. If you stick at 16, the only chance for you to win is if the dealer goes over 21, which is pretty unlikely to happen. So, if the sum of your first two cards is eleven or less, you should always draw another card. If it is somewhere between 12 and 16, drawing another card depends on what the dealer is showing. However, don’t take this as a certain fact. The problem is always the dealer’s face down card. So, you should always suppose he has a 10 (K, Q, J or 10) concealed. If his showing card is between 7-A, draw until you go over 16, but if his showing card is between 2 to 6, you should almost never draw another card.

The biggest trick is to know when to stand or stop. This is the critical issue for most players and the reason why from so many blackjack players only about a half win.

If the sum of your cards is between 17 and 20, never take another card. You can only make exceptions when one of your cards is an ace and the dealer’s showing card is between a 9 and an ace and therefore draw another card.

Normally, the house advantage in blackjack is of about 5%. However, if you play smartly, according to a good strategy, you can reduce them considerably. The best strategy comes with experience. So, don’t think that a strategy that turns out to be lucky once or twice will always be the same. The two most important features of a correct strategy are variability and flexibility. You need to adapt your strategy to the variation you’re playing. In some games you may take out insurance against the dealer having a blackjack, if his showing card is an ace. This is rarely worth paying for, as it costs about half of what you have bet, but if the dealer doesn’t get a blackjack, the payout you get is 2 to 1. In other game variations, when you have two cards of the same value, you may split by placing that bet again and splitting the cards in 2 (add another hand). In other cases, when you are absolutely sure you can beat he dealer, you can double your bet and there is also the opposite of this, stating that when you feel you can’t win, you may give up and lose only half of your wager.

In 21, there are enough options for us not to get bored, but we need to be very selective when using them and not let greed take over our ration. Most of what casinos offer increases their odds, so, if you have a strategy for blackjack and some experience, you’ll know what’s the right thing to do.

 

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