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Basic Blackjack Strategy

4 April 2020

How the casino makes money? It offers various games to visiting customers. Be aware that the games they offer all have a house advantage over the player. Here are some facts about the game of blackjack:

1. When it comes to blackjack the house always has the advantage because the dealer plays his/her hand last. For example, if there are three players in a hand and they all bust out, (their hands exceeded 21) the dealer/house wins regardless of the total score of the dealers’ hand.

2. The dealer isn’t afraid of hitting a bad hand (12-16) because the house rule says he/she must hit 16 and below, and stand on 17 and above. The player has a lot more options than the dealer does when he/she also gets a bad hand (12-16). The player can hit, stand, split, double down and in some casinos; surrender. (Surrender, player throws hand away and gets half of his/her bet returned).

3. It’s been reported that most players do not know “Basic Strategy” for the game of blackjack. Basic Strategy (developed by modern computers) tells the player when to hit, stand, split and double down for any combination of cards. (Dealers up-card and cards held by the player). Playing the correct basic strategy will reduce the house advantage to less than one percent. That is pretty good odds compared to some of the other games in the casino.

4. A player also must vary his/her wager at certain times during the game to beat the house. Flat betting (betting the same amount each hand) will result in a loss over the long run. When experiencing a winning streak, increase the size of the wager. When losing, do the oppose, decrease the size of your bet.

5. The player should always look at three cards before making a decision on what action to take, (the players’ first two cards and the dealers up-card).

6. Basic Strategy tells the player not to Stand on a soft 17 (ace-six) yes, you have a 17 but it’s consisted a losing hand. Always Hit it or when the dealer has a bad hand (3-6) you might want to Double Down. The odds are in your favor in this situation.

7. Splitting like cards is important, you can make money with this technique, if you do it correctly. Never split 4s, 5s or 10s (that includes Jacks, Queens, or Kings). Always split Aces and eights. There are many other times to split, depending on the first three cards (dealers up card and the players first two cards).

8. Every time the dealer shows an Ace as their up-card he/she will stop the game of blackjack and play a new game called “Insurance”. You don’t want to play that game. The dealer offers all the players at the table Insurance, (players have the option of playing or not playing). If the player wants to play, it will require a player to put up an additional wager, up to half the original bet. The player is now betting the dealer has a 10 as his/she and that result will give the dealer a blackjack. If the dealer has the blackjack the player will win one and half times the Insurance bet, but lose their original wager. If the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack the dealer takes the Insurance bet and returns to the game of blackjack. If the player has a blackjack also, it’s a tie or push and no chips are exchanged.

9. Here is the quick/simple version of Basic Strategy:

Stand 12-16 vs. dealers 2-6
Hit 12-16 vs. dealer 7-Ace
Don’t split 4s, 5s, or 10s
Always split Aces and 8s
Don’t take Insurance
Double 11 vs. dealers 2-10
Double 10 vs. dealers 2-9
Reduce your bet when losing
Increase your bet when winning

10. You can go to various websites to find a complete 126 combination strategy card for every hand in blackjack.


BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW

• Dec. 30, 1919 Born, Jess Ira Marcum (originally Marcovitch) in Tenn. He developed a basic strategy for blackjack and was counting cards a decade before anyone else. In 1947 he joined the Rand Corporation think-tank located in California. He solved extremely difficult problems that no one else could. He became Rand’s preeminent mathematician with an international reputation. Jess became enchanted with the mathematical analysis of casino gambling around 1949. A few years later he left California for the casino world and lived in that environment for the next 15 to 20 years. Jess died in 1992 at the age of 72.

• Roger Baldwin, William Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott, published “The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack” in the September 1956 issue of the Journal of the American Statistical Association. They were the early ones to develop what we now know as Basic Strategy: the best way to play any combination of player and dealer up card. In 1957, they published a book titled “Playing Blackjack to Win.”

• In 1962, mathematics professor Edward Thorp used an IBM computer to validate and improve the data from the Baldwin group and later published a bestselling book called “Beat the Dealer.” That book changed the world of casino blackjack.

• It’s been found that most casino dealers know less about the game than a player who has read a good book about blackjack and knows basic strategy.

• Computers tell us that a Basic Strategy blackjack player will bust once every six hands. A dealer will bust two times every seven hands.

• Some casinos have a spot on its blackjack rating slips, which can be marked to indicate that a player knows blackjack basic strategy.

• Casinos have the right to bar you from playing blackjack, the courts have ruled on that subject for over 30 years. If they “think” you are a card counter they legally can ask you to leave their premises.
Recent Articles
Best of John Marchel
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

KISS Guide to Gambling

> More Books By John Marchel