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Blackjack is Semi-Random

4 October 2022

By Frank Scoblete
Most casino games have as their underpinning randomness.

The bets, the flow of the game, how the casino gets an edge, is usually decided by a random distribution of the elements of the game. To secure the money from the players, the casino makes sure it either wins more decisions at the game or it “taxes” the wins of the player by taking a percent of his or her win. Some games do both. Craps is a good example of that.

Another example, at roulette on the double-zero (0, 00) wheel, the odds of getting a winning number are 37 to one. The casino wins 37 decisions, the player wins one. The real payout for a win should be 37 units but the casino can’t win money by giving out such a payment. So, it reduces the payment to 35 to one, establishing its edge of 5.26 percent over the player.

One game is, however, quite different. That’s blackjack. The casino shuffles between one deck and eight decks (or it has a perpetual shuffler which just keeps spitting those cards out and is more or less random throughout the game) and these cards are then dealt to the players.

Indeed, yes, the shuffle is supposed to randomize the cards and it does. However, because once a card is played that card does not go back into the deck(s) until the next shuffle and that means the composition of the remaining decks has been changed.

Now, some players are able to keep track of the cards that have been played and change their betting and playing strategies accordingly. Most readers have heard of card counting and that is one of the techniques used for a player to get an edge.

You will not find this situation at any other card game as none will lend itself to being truly “counted.” Those other card games remain basically unknowable to its future decisions.

Blackjack gets its edge in two ways. By winning more decisions versus the player and by offering large payouts on some hands if they are played perfectly according to the computer derived “basic strategy.”

The casino wins approximately 48 decisions, loses approximately 44 decisions and pushes (ties) approximately eight decisions. Some hands such as a blackjack (any hand of an ace and a 10-valued card) pay three to two and some hands allow the player to double their bets or split their pairs and some allow doubling on pairs as well.

Wait a minute, isn’t blackjack supposed to have only about a one-half percent house edge against the player? With the special hands blackjack does come in with about a one-half percent edge for the casino for the player playing the basic strategy perfectly.

ADVICE and a WARNING

Unless you are going to become a card counter, which is probably less than one-tenth of one-percent percent of blackjack players, you have to play each and every hand perfectly to keep the house edge at bay. That means you play basic strategy.

Blackjack seems to attract more than its share of players who are not experts who think they are great experts. That’s fine except for one fact about some of them. They can’t shut up and they can’t stop telling other players what to do with their hands. This can be annoying. If you can leave a table that has such experts, do so.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

[Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.]

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

 

Fighting Craps

27 September 2022
Craps used to be the favorite casino table game until it was surpassed by blackjack in the mid-1960s. When it was the favorite game, it was dominated by men. World War II taught soldiers, sailors and marines how to play the game and they loved it. Craps was considered a “city game” when in fact it originated along the Mississippi River in the South. ... (read more)
 

Tackling Slots

20 September 2022
This won’t bother most slot players; slot machines are random. Of course. The machines are programmed to be random. This way no one can predict what is coming up next or next or next on down the line. I am sure most slot players are aware of this; at least I hope so. The computer program that makes the machines a random game is called the Random Number Generator. ... (read more)
 

They Want Your Money

13 September 2022
“I went to the butcher yesterday and you can’t believe this but he wanted my money! He charged me for the meat. Can you believe that? His wife was adamant about wanting my money.” “That’s nothing. I went to the doctor and I got this huge bill. She charged me for helping my health. Can you believe that? My husband was outraged. ... (read more)

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Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete