Blackjack Strategy

Categories: Blackjack

Understanding the basic strategy is very important when it comes to winning blackjack. It is unfortunate that only a few people actually has the will power to try and memorize it. Gambling 102 is an effective book which has 7 simple rules which can be used to win a game of blackjack.

One thing that bothered me since the publication of this book was the fact that the number of errors in the simple strategy was simply too many. This led to the publishing of “Wizard’s Strategy.” In Sep 2009. When compared to the 250 cells one has in basic strategy, there are only 21 in this new publication.

  • A hard had does not have any aces or aces which has points till it bust. A soft hand should have at least one ace which can score up to 11 points.
  • You can double if your points are more than the dealer, considering ace has 11 points. Specifically, double with 10 against a 2 to 9, and with 11 against 2 to 10.
  • If he has to double, and you have 3 or more cards, then go for an hit.
  • If he has to surrender, and you cant do it, then go for a hit.
  • If it says to not split, then treat it as a hard hand and pair it.

Beware Short Pays on a Blackjack

We encounter more tables where the pay is less than on a blackjack. Some pay 6 to 5, but some of them don’t know about 7 to 5. A good part of them pays 3 to 2. In fact, only those which plays 3 to 2 should be termed as a blackjack for that matter. Others are simply 21 games which includes Super Fun 21 and Spanish 21. So, you should demand 3 to 2 blackjack, no matter what the other rules are. You can count on the felt to be sure or even for a sign.

Bad Strategies

The worst 3 strategies that you encounter at blackjack table are never bust, mimic the dealer, and always assume the dealer has a ten in the hole. Each of them is bad. You can read further to know why exactly they are bad.

Never bust: just assume that the maximum that you can hit is a 12. The rest of the decisions are as per basic strategy. Now, this will result in a house edge of 3.91%.

Mimic the dealer: assume that the player hits 16 or lower and has 17 or more, which includes a 17. The dealer cant split or double and so does the player. This strategy accounts for a house edge of 5.48%.

Assume a ten in the hole: first, assume the optimal basic strategy for this test. Suppose the dealer has an ace up, then we go back to basic strategy, since he will pick a blackjack and 10 becomes impossible. This results in a house edge of 10.03%.

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How to Play Blackjack

Categories: Blackjack


Blackjack requires around one to eight normal decks of cards. Cards having face value 2 through 10 are arranged as per their ranks. Each face card carries 10 points. Aces carry either 1 or 11 points and are considered semi wild. An ace is the highest hand in blackjack and a black jack is any 10 point card. A blackjack can win up to 3 to 2. The bet is said to be a push if both the player and dealer have a blackjack in their possession. A winning hand will pay you money other than a blackjack. A player is said to be successful if his hand earns more point than the dealer, without exceeding 21. So, one can see that the 21 point hand is as far as you will go and hence the name 21 for the game. If by any chance a player’s hand exceeds 21, it is called a bust or break and he is considered a loser. In a case where both the player and dealer bust, it is the player who loses, owing to the house advantage. If both of them end in a tie, it is decided in a push.

The flag off of a blackjack is when each player places a bet in the logo or center right in front of him. The dealer will present each player and himself 2 cards each. The card of the players are dealt face up. One of the dealers card is face up and the second one is face down. If it happends that the up card is ten or an ace, then he might have a blackjack, in which case all players lose unless any of them has a blackjack at their disposal. The practice in US allows the dealer to check for a blackjack quickly. If he has, the dealer collects all losing bets if possible.

In a situation where the dealer himself has an ace for the up card, he should allow other players to insure their hands from a blackjack. This resembles any insurance cover where you are safeguarding yourself against any mishaps that might occur. Under this insurance cover, you are eligible for 2:1 return in cases where dealer has a blackjack. If the player has a blackjack and the dealer an ace, he can ask for even money. This move is made to ensure that the game has a result, because otherwise the outcome will be an even money. The dealer provides the option of insurance and it is up to them to accept or decline.

If the dealer does not have a blackjack in his possession, the players may start playing. The options available are

Stand: if the player is confident about his stand, he can stand pat. This can be signified by waving the dealer away. If it is a single deck game, keep your cards face down your bet.

Hit: the player can continue playing or opt for another card till he stand or bust. If you want to hit, just give a tap on the table using your finger. Or else you can scrap it against the felt lightly.

Double: if he feels that if he can win it in just one more card, he may double the bet and then go with the dealing. This option is available only on the initial two cards, or the initial 2 after splitting. This can be signified by placing yet another wager of equal value next to your original wager. Or place your bet to face up your cards.

Split: he can split the card into two hands if the first 2 cards are of equal points. So, each card becomes the initial card of a fresh hand. For the 2nd hand, he should make a different wager which is similar in value to the first wager. One can perform a split after a split, but resplitting the aces is allowed only under special circumstances. He can do this up to 2 to 3 times until a new chance presents itself. It is not always possible to double after splitting. It can be signified by putting an extra wager to the actual wager. Or just face up your bet by placing your cards.

Surrender: if the player wants to surrender, he can go about with this. If the player believes that the cards are not good, he can forfeit half of the bet and his cards. A later surrender is when the dealer has a ten or ace and plays his blackjack before the first player actually plays. An early surrender is when dealer does not play a blackjack and do not play a hole card. This is a better option for the player since it protects against the blackjack of the dealer.

The dealer will start playing after the other players have played their from left to right. He cannot play as he wants but should play according to certain rules. He should hit till he scores seventeen or more. In some casinos, a dealer has to hit if he has a soft 17. When a dealer bust, all other active players are considered winners.

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Blackjack Card Counting

Categories: Blackjack

There are some notable differences to playing Blackjack when compared to other casino games. The main thing is that it can be beaten. A player get to have multiple hands during the dealings or shuffles. This enables an intelligent player to predict the cards yet to come gaining information from the already dealt cards. This factor makes it more interesting than roulette or craps where the past moves does not have any impact on the future moves. So, a smart player can use card counting, which is perfectly legal and within the law, to assure an advantage over the other players by performing a mathematical calculation of the probabilities.

If a player finds himself in a situation where the cards left to be dealt has a good ratio of tens and aces when compared to the smaller cards, he is at a definite advantage. So, card counting can be used as an effective way to check if the remaining deck favors the player. A card counter can place high wages when his deck has a lot of tens and aces. Similarly, he might place a small bet or leave the table if his deck is filled with smaller cards like twos through sixes.

In fact, anyone who is ready to spend some effort and quality time in playing this can actually get the better out of it.

In contrary to what entertainment media displays like the Rain Man or 21 depicts, card counting is something that ordinary people can get acquainted with. The articles and discussions will throw more light into the art of card counting which offers everyone an equal chance to win these games.

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Texas Hold’em Rules

Categories: Poker

Texas Holdem is one of the most popular poker games in the world. They are also known as Texas Hold’em. One can see them often played in World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour (WPT).

There are three variations for this game: namely Limit, No Limit and Pot Limit. You can understand more about the rules of the game, vital tips, know how and strategies of three types in this page.

Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold’em Game Rules:

Each player has two unique cards which they use to deal. The player can share and combine their cards to play against the five community cards placed by the dealer and try to beat it. .

  • The play is started off  with two cards being dealed face down to the players. They are referred to as hole cards or pocket cards.
  • This marks off the beginning of the first round of betting.
  • Players are allowed to fold, call the blind, bet or raise once the game starts from the clockwise direction.
  • This is a game where the blinds are live where the players can raise themselves when they get the turn.
  • In the next step, he can perform the flop where 3 cards can be dealt face up.
  • To initiate a new round of betting, the person on the dealer’s immediate left starts the first blind.
  • This is followed by another card being dealt face up, followed by another and so on.
  • The final round of betting is initiated by the dealing of the river.

The remaining players of the game tries to come out with the best five-card hand by trying out any combination of the community or hole cards. The person with the highest hand is declared winner of the pot.

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