Black Jack Guide PDF Print E-mail
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Article Index
Black Jack Guide
Playing Options
Basic Strategy
Black Jack Strategy
Tips For Blackjack
Etiquette and Manners

3. Basic Strategy

Step into any casino in America and you are certain to see one thing. Actually, there are a number of things you will probably see, all of them competing in a mad rush for your attention. But for the purposes of this article, I would like to specifically deal with the ubiquity of Blackjack. Yes, this is perhaps the most universal card game found in modern casinos, and arguably the most democratic.

What do I mean by that last statement? Simply that Blackjack is a game which makes itself assessable to the widest range of casino visitors. It can be played by rank novices as well as true professionals and always be entertaining. This game is unique in that it entails a potent blend of chance and skill. Though a much simpler game than most poker variants, Blackjack is an evergreen favorite of the masses.

I like to advise gamblers never to become complacent with Blackjack, especially when real money is involved. No matter how often you've played this game, it has the capacity to surprise you. One important thing to never forget is that the house has a statistical advantage over the players that will always come to the fore in the long run.

However, in Blackjack each player can reduce the casino advantage to a small degree by playing what is known as basic strategy. This strategy strictly dictates when to hit and when to stand, and also determines when doubling down or splitting is the correct action.

Let's get into some of the specifics you should bear in mind. The bedrock upon which basic strategy operates is the relationship of the player's point total and the dealer's visible card. Under good conditions from the player's point of view (which will almost always entail the use of a single deck), the house advantage over a basic strategy player can be as low as 0.16 percent. That's a massive difference from the norm. As a result of this, you will not find a whole lot of tables in the average casino that offers the game in this format. But if you ever should find one, by all means take advantage of this tremendous opportunity.

I think it is only fair to note that basic Blackjack strategy is not for ideally suited for all gamblers. This is largely a degree of personality. We are all familiar with players who scorn any type of system, claiming they are about as comfortable as a straightjacket when standing at the green felt. We must respect this viewpoint even if we do not embrace it.

A good system is hard to find, so I personally feel it's foolish not to take every advantage you can get when gambling in a casino. We must all admit that the deck is stacked against us whenever we play Blackjack, so why not do everything possible to win? Obviously, I am talking about methods deemed both legal and ethical by the casinos, which rules out cheating and card counting. Hopefully you knew that already.