You don’t want to misunderstand what players and teachers of blackjack mean when they say they’ll teach you strategies. A “strategy” is NOT a magic formula that will earn you riches once you’ve mastered it. A strategy is like a game plan. Every good coach comes up with a strategy based on what they know about the other team before they go out an play. No coach wins all the time. It’s the same with blackjack. Based on what you know about the game and about the place you’ll be playing, you want to come up with a strategy that gives you the best chance of winning. By playing blackjack free you can practice many strategies that work fro you. Here are a few basic tactics you can use when you’re trying to build your strategy.
You have to make decisions within a few moments. You want to understand the situation at any given moment. And you will have to take chances every now and then – that’s just the way your fate unfolds sometimes. Here’s an example: If you’re holding a hand that totals a 12 (for instance), and it’s composed of a 10 card and a 2 card. The dealer’s card that is showing is a 4, and obviously you don’t know what the second card is because it’s not showing. What you do know is that the dealer must draw again, because dealers cannot stand on any number lower than 17. There’s no way that with a 4 showing, the dealer has 17 with just two cards. The dealer has to draw until 17 is reached or the dealer busts.
At the same time, your 10 and your 2 equal 12. Chances are that you won’t pull the only card out of the deck that can cause you to bust – another 10 or a King, Queen or Jack. So in the event that the dealer has to draw, you may hit and maybe make your 12 into a 19, 20, or 21 without going over. Or at least force the dealer to beat your 18 or 19. A similar strategy applies if you’re holding a soft hand – any hand where an ace is being used as an 11 instead of a 1. If you’re holding a soft 15, nothing you can pull from the deck can force you to bust. Also, it’s widely agreed by experienced players that you should not assume anything when it comes to predicting the dealer’s hand. A common piece of advice that dictates you “assume the dealer has a 10” is widely considered bad advice. Basing your strategy on what you think the dealer might have, or “mimicking the dealer” is bad practice.
The dealer must stand on 17 or higher. At the same time, the dealer must draw on anything 16 or lower. Your goal is to beat the dealer – not get 21 on every hand. If your cards get into the 17 – 20 range, stand and make the dealer beat you.
And finally, there’s card counting. Players tend to agree that card counting does provide the player with the best advantage against the “house” if it’s applied effectively. If you are going to learn this skill, understand that it takes a lot of time to master.
Card counting basically involves keeping track of high and low cards during the course of a game. Card counting only works with decks that aren’t re-shuffled after every hand, so don’t even think about practicing this technique online. Card counting is not illegal if you do it all in your head, but another downside is that casinos will probably ask you to leave the table, or the casino if they suspect you’re good at your craft. If you want to spend the time learning this strategy, you can find information everywhere on how to do it. The mastery level you’ll need will require you to have a thorough enough understanding of these principles. In other words: you should be able to apply them subtly enough to win your share, without getting yourself kicked out of your favorite hang-outs.