I have to admit that I’m a little interested in blackjack. I’m really interested in blackjack because it’s a game that seems to lend itself to the systems that areimplebut the basic rules are not. In particular I want to touch upon thestrategy of blackjack, because I think a lot of playersamental strategies are wrong and wrong in a lot of ways.
Most players think blackjack is just playing against the house. This is not the case at all. The casino has no idea who is going to be sitting at the next game. ( scratch that, they are all sitting at the same table right ?) The house takes a rake off the top of every hand, every round. It’s a cut that the casino considers to be the price of doing business.
So, most players think that the house is stupid. Let me tell you that they are not stupid at all. Why? Because they have also gone to the extraordinary measure of training to make each game appear as random as possible. A game of chance is still a game of chance.
Roulette, craps, and blackjack, all of these are games that rely on the human psychology. What do I mean? Human beings are complex and semi-random programs, whose decisions are influenced by financial incentives and other interests. But human beings are also very simple and situational aware. You can find a simple program that will tell you how to play blackjack based on basic strategy. Easy! You can also find a simple basic strategy poker chart, that you can memorize. These tools are there, all over the internet. You just have to understand how to use them.
In a nut shell,blackjack strategyis simply a set of mathematics. There are no set rules that you can follow. There are just combinations of possibilities at play. Some combinations are favourable to the player, some to the dealer. (lated, favorite hands of dealer). So in one hand, you might get a 21 with an 8 of spades. Not bad. In the other, you might get a 17 against a King.
When playing, you want to challenge your human thinking and your intuition. Not by some myth of ‘card clumping’ or some Arctic Oligarchy system.
Learn to trust your instincts. They probably beat the odds time and time again. They might even save you from a dangerous casinoatted shorthanded. Humans are fallible and vulnerable to emotional Distractions. Have you ever seen a really good poker player go on ’tilt’? They got tired of losing hands. It’s often sudden, and without warning. Unless you have faith in your inner instincts, you are going Set loose. trust your instincts. They usually win.
I don’t believe in practicing Annie Duke’s ‘7 card stud’ rules. Not because I don’t think 3-2 is still the best hand. Not only because 2-7 is 7 times better. Unless you’re a mathematically inclined person, you can’t possibly argue against the notion that AA is the best starting hand in Texas Hold ‘Em. But I do agree that US rules for Texas Hold ‘Em make the game less interesting, and less memorable. If you’re driving from Baltimore to New York, just pick up your blackjack, flop down in the Maryland Record woods, and, when mated to 8/bingo, it’s pretty impressive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Baltimore isn’t worse (budgetary issues and all), but it’s possible to have a pretty nice time in the Record Woods ( tolls vary, of course, from Tower City).
Not all Prepackaged cards games are created equal. After trying several strategies, I’ve found that the one I like best is the ‘High Roller’ style. This is simply because it forces you to use your superior math skills, along with a few other natural advantages, to come up with winning combinations. (After all, isn’t that what you’re really looking at in choosing the winning game of Craps, the advantage? The number ‘3’ is the hardest number to roll, but with the ‘High Roller’ technique, you’ll only need to roll ‘9’ combinations ten times to win. ‘9’ is the High Roller, because it forces you to use division of natural odds, rather than wishful thinking and hope.