win at blackjack. Yes,
you. All you have to do
is follow a few simple rules while playing this fun game and the
odds of winning can swing in your favor. Of course it helps to
have luck on your side. This article will help you make your own
luck - avoiding the simple mistakes and approaching the game
like a pro.
Learning to play your cards correctly is the first thing you must do if you want to win at blackjack. In addition to helping you win, there is another important reason for mastering this part of the game. Unlike some other table games, with blackjack it isn't just you against the dealer. It is you AND every other player at the table against the dealer. And if you play your cards like a beginner (a "newbie"), you will lose your money and maybe cause the other players to lose their money too. When that happens, they may just leave the table OR scold you and ask you to leave the table.
Once you learn how to play your cards correctly, you will see lots of ways of how NOT to play cards by others. In one of my recent blackjack "experiences" the man on my right split every pair of tens he got dealt - every time. Sometimes he won but usually he lost. The lady on my left and I both shook our heads.
Then she did something just as bad. She got dealt a pair of Aces and didn't split them because she "hadn't done well splitting Aces earlier". She took a hit and got a face card (a ten) for a 12 count. She took another hit, got another face card and went bust with a 22.
Learning to play your cards the
right way takes a big stress factor out of the game. Your
play will be smooth and confident, knowing you are doing
what you can to tip the odds of winning in your favor without
sitting and thinking about it. The other players, assuming they
know how to play the game, will appreciate the fact that you are
playing your cards the right way and not infringing on their
chances of winning too.
The Blackjack Strategy Chart on your right is pretty much the agreed upon strategy to use for correctly playing your cards. Your play is based on the cards you are dealt (along the left hand side), the dealer's up card (across the top) AND the belief that the dealer's down card is a ten. As an example, lets say you were dealt a six and a ten (jacks, queens and kings all count as ten as does the ten of each suit) for a total of 16. Looking at the chart, you can see it shows you should stand on your 16 IF the dealer's up card is a two, three, four, five or six BUT take a card if the dealer shows seven or higher. Can you lose by doing this? Of course you can! But you will increase your chances of winning by just following this strategy. That's what this chart shows - the best play based on the odds of winning. If you decide blackjack is your game, you will want to study and memorize this chart
Let's go back to the two players in my story. The guy splitting 10s did exactly the wrong thing if you go by the chart which says ALWAYS stand or stay on a 20 hand.
Since Aces count as a one or an eleven, depending on how best you can use them with the hand you were dealt, always split a pair of Aces and hope for a pair of tens or face cards for two 21 hands.
In this last section I want to give
you some guidelines on how to bet. This won't be specific
because I don't know your money situation, how much you set
aside per blackjack "session" or what risks you are willing to
Developing your own betting strategy, one you can be comfortable with, is most important. Your goal is to be playing with the casino's money as soon as possible. How do you do this?
First, assuming you understand and are following the first three blackjack rules, you want to be steadily increasing your bet as your winning streak continues. When you first sit down, it may be okay to play the first few hands with the minimum bet just to convince yourself you really do have a cold dealer on your hands. But don't stay in this mode. If you won with a $10 bet, bet $15 on the next hand. If you win, go to $20 or $25.
Second, the fast path to making money is to take advantage of every opportunity to split pairs or double down. The Blackjack Strategy Chart shows you 50 double down situations and 52 split pair situations. Learn them all and follow them consistently.
Third, don't bet so much money per hand that you won't be able to take advantage of every double down or split pair situation that comes your way. Let's say you have a $40 bet on the table and get dealt a pair of eights. You are always supposed to split eights but would you plunk down another $40 and feel okay about it? What if you split eights and your first card is another eight. That's a $120 bet. This is not that rare.
Fourth, set a limit per blackjack session - one you can live with if you lose it all. And don't go over that limit. You have done everything you can to win but some things are out of your control. Maybe the dealer got on a hot streak. Or another player sat down and stopped your winning streak cold. Or some player(s) didn't take a hit when they should have or took a hit when they shouldn't have.
Last, but not least, know when to leave the table and end your blackjack session. If you are up a few hundred and things go against you. Don't hang in there and give it all back . Take a break for awhile then go scout for another table, even if you have to leave and go to another casino.
"You have to factor all of these things into your own personal blackjack betting strategy. The last thing you want to do is leave the blackjack table feeling absolutely miserable because things "got out of hand" and you lost lots more than planned. "
Wishing you the very best of luck at the blackjack tables.