Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games anywhere in the world. The potential to win huge sums of money by simply beating one other person is a lure few can resist. It’s just you and the dealer. You have two cards each. The one who gets closest to 21 wins. The loser gets nothing.
In the earlier days of its rise in popularity, card counters became ‘a thing’. Very, very clever people were able to keep track of all the cards that had already been dealt at the table. This allowed them to work out what cards were left in the deck. As a result, they could calculate the odds of a winning hand and increase their bets accordingly.
Card Counters Banned
But casinos soon caught on, and not only did they ban the card counters, but they also implemented fail-safe measures to ensure it couldn’t happen again. There is now a huge amount of cameras pointed at the tables. Behind those cameras are casino employees trained to spot card counters and cheats.
That is why we see multiple packs of cards being used at Blackjack tables. They also use automatic shufflers and change the dealers more often. If it looks like somebody may be cheating, a new dealer with more experience is placed at the table. The idea is that with speed, they can stop the card counting because they are simply going too fast.
So basically, other than luck, there are no real strategies for playing blackjack. Other than general guidelines on when to stick, call etc… There are, however, betting strategies for the game instead.
Blackjack strategies can differ from one player to another. A lot will depend on the amount of risk that you are willing to take to get as close to 21 as possible.
Whichever tactic you decide to adopt when playing, you do have to be careful not to drift away from the aim of the game, which is to beat the dealer’s hand.
The reason why this point must be stressed is that sometimes the player can go in blinkered. They worry too much about their own hand without noticing what the dealer could possibly have.
If you’re playing live casino blackjack, remember that the dealer’s upcard is the most important piece of information that is available to you at the table. You need to use this to make an assessment of their position before you decide how to play your cards.
Unfortunately, you don’t get to see their other card, so you can only make a judgement based on what is available. You should, therefore, bear in mind that it may not always be correct!
If you are lucky enough to hit 21 quite early in your hand, you don’t need to worry about the dealer. However, there may come a point where a crucial decision simply has to be made. You will have to either take a chance on another card or stick with what you have and hope it is good enough.
If the dealer has an eight or higher, you are best advised to take more risk. This does not mean being careless; it should just sway your decision towards taking a hit when you are in two minds.
On the flip side, if they have a five or below, they are in a vulnerable position. This ought to encourage you to stand once you get a score that you are happy with.