We know that most poker players also enjoy a little blackjack as well. Here we have a few blackjack articles for your enjoyment.
Outside of incorrect play by the players, the dealer’s advantage over the player lies only in the fact that the dealer wins if both the dealer and the player bust. Once a player busts, he loses his bet; if the dealer also busts, the player does not retrieve his lost gamble. This advantage over the player is significant, considering the average player will bust about 16% of the time. There are, however, counter tools that the player can use to level the playing field. Here are a few plusses in the player’s favor:
1. When the dealer gets blackjack, the dealer will only take the player’s original bet. However, when the player gets blackjack, he wins 3 to 2.
2. While the dealer has to play according to predetermined stipulations when taking a hit or staying, the player has the power to make his own decisions when it comes to play.
3. The player has the ability to double down.
4. The player has the ability to split.
5. The player is offered insurance.
Knowing this, the player can then apply the basic strategy of blackjack, or the set of rules that govern the play of a hand. This strategy is based on statistical truths. With each new hand, the player should only acknowledge his own cards, the dealer’s upcard, and the rules of the game, as if a fresh new deck is being shuffled with each hand. The other players at the table and the other cards on the table are of no importance.
Here is an elementary start on the mathematical theorems that rule the game:
For hard hands:
* 9 or lower, hit;
* 10 or 11, double down if your cards add up to more than the dealer’s upcard (otherwise, hit);
* 12 through 16, when dealer’s upcard is +7, hit (otherwise, stand);
* +17, stand.
For Soft hands:
* 13-18, when dealer’s upcard is 5 or 6, double down;
* lower than 17, hit;
* 18, when dealer’s upcard is 6 or less, hit; when dealer’s upcard is +7, stand;
* 19+, stand
* Aces or 8s: ALWAYS split;
* 10s, 4s, or 5s: NEVER split;
* When dealer’s upcard is 6 or less, split all other pairs
And by the way, NEVER TAKE INSURANCE!
The dealer’s upcard is so crucial because it is an indicator of the strength or weakness of the dealer’s hand. Once the player has determined whether the dealer’s upcard is showing weakness or strength, he can then make his next move. When the dealer’s upcard indicates weakness, the player can let the dealer take the chance of busting because as mentioned before, the dealer is required to hit to stiff hands, while the player is not. Refer to a basic strategy chart for further analysis of this tactic (such as the chart made available in Andrew Brisman’s, Mensa Guide to Casino Gambling). Studying and practicing applying charts like these will decrease the dealer’s advantage to 0.5% or lower!
Brisman, Andrew. Mensa Guide to Casino Gambling. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1999.