Blackjack Basic Strategy – Casino Gambling Basics

If you’re like most casual gamblers, you visit the casinos a few times a year, lose a few hundred dollars, and shrug it off as “entertainment”. Oh sure, once in awhile you ride a winning streak and earn a few hundred, maybe even a few thousand bucks. But in spite of your stock answer to friends and family about breaking even – (you know, question: “How much did you win?” answer: “Oh, I broke even”) you’re quite aware that you’ve lost far more than you’ve won over the years.I’d love to tell you that there’s some secret gambling strategy that could make you rich. However, there isn’t. The only way to get rich from casino gambling is to own the casino. The casinos always have the advantage, and over the long run, you will always lose. Well, almost always. There is one casino game which offers you a chance to break even, and sometimes even gain a slight advantage over the house. That game? Blackjack.Blackjack is by far the best bet in the casino. If a player uses the basic strategy that I describe below, the house will have only about a 1.5% advantage over the player. Compare that to the 20% or more advantage casinos have at slots. No other casino game even comes close to these odds. And if you use the simple counting strategy that I’ll teach you in the next issue, the player can actually have a slight advantage over the house.Will you make millions of dollars a year and be able to retire from your day job by using this strategy? Highly unlikely. But at the very least, if you learn and play the basic strategy exactly as it’s described, you’ll virtually break even in the long run. This may not sound like much. But I’m sure if you add up all of the money you’ve ever lost gambling, you’ll find we’re talking about a considerable sum of money.WHAT MAKES YOUR STRATEGY THE BEST?My basic strategy isn’t the best. It’s not the worst. It’s the same as any other “correct” basic strategy, based on the laws of probability. This basic strategy is the result of computer runs using the laws of probability. It’s precise and exact.HOW TO LEARN THESE STRATEGIESThe only way you’ll become a successful Blackjack player is to take the time to study and practice it. You first have to master the basic strategy. It should take you about four or five hours to memorize it, then an hour or so to review prior to any trip to a casino. Remember, you’ll only get out of this strategy what you put into it. If you put in nothing, you’ll get back nothing. If you put in a lot, you could make a lot. It’s that simple. Playing basic strategy will not make you rich. But it will help you win about as many hands as you lose, if you play it perfectly.RULES OF THE GAMEObjectThe object of Blackjack is to beat the dealer. Whatever hand the dealer has, you must have a better one in order to win. Your hand also has to be better than the dealer’s without going over 21. If you go over 21, then you bust. You turn your cards over and the dealer takes your money. If you beat the dealer, you win and the dealer pays you the amount of your bet.ValuesThe card values are as follows. Cards 2 through 9 are worth their face value. For example, if you’re dealt an 8 and a 9 you have 17. The 10 and face cards are worth 10. For example, if you have a king and a 10 you have 20. Aces are worth either 1 or 11. For example if you have an ace and an 8, you have either 9 or 19; your choice. An ace and any 10 value card is considered a blackjack and pays 3 to 2. All other wins pay 1 to 1, or even money. The dealer must hit until they get hard 17 (17 without an Ace) in most casinos. At some casinos, the dealer will stand on soft 17 (A-6).SplittingIf you have two cards of the same number, for example two 8′s, you may split them. To split, you turn your cards over, face up. You then put an additional bet that’s equal to your first bet, next to your first bet. The dealer will then deal you one card on your first 8, and ask if you want to hit or stand. After you stand or bust on your first hand, he will do the same for your other 8.Double DownYou also have the option of doubling down. In most Las Vegas casinos, you may double down on any of your first two cards. In Lake Tahoe or Reno you normally can only double down on a 10 or 11. Here’s how to do it. The dealer deals you two cards that total 11. You turn your cards over, face up. You put an additional bet equal to your first bet, next to your first bet. The dealer then deals you one card face down.PlayingMost casinos have Blackjack tables with minimum bets ranging from $5 to $100, with maximum bets up to $10,000. To start the game, you place some cash on the table. The dealer will then shuffle the cards. After the shuffle, the dealer will take your cash and exchange it for chips. You place the chips you wish to bet for that hand in a small betting circle in front of you. One to seven players may play at a time. The dealer then deals the cards. The dealer asks each player if they want to hit or stand.THE STRATEGY OF BASIC PLAYMost players ‘guess’ at blackjack; every hand is played on a hunch. You’ll notice this when you play. You’ll see a person stand on a 16 when the dealer has an Ace showing on one hand, then they will hit it the next.Always play the Basic Strategy exact. Never make a mistake and never guess. Your days of playing hunches are over. You must use this strategy exactly as it appears in the table that follows. If you don’t, you’re giving away your money. Sure, playing hunches may make you some money occasionally. But the basic strategy is proven mathematically, using the laws of probability. Hunches are proven mathematically as well – they are proven to make you go broke over the long run.If you deviate from this strategy, then you’re giving away small percentages to the house. The players who play on hunches, which is about 99% of the players, are playing with anywhere from an 8% to 20% disadvantage. Using this basic strategy you can cut that disadvantage to about 1.5%.The average player has never read a book on blackjack and has no idea how to play correctly. This includes the dealer. Don’t ever let a dealer tell you how to play the game. They’ve likely never studied the game. They don’t know the basic strategy. If you listen to them, even if they mean well, they’ll help you lose your money very quickly.I don’t mean to suggest that the dealer is your enemy; quite the contrary. The dealer can be used to your advantage. When you’re winning, always tip the dealer. Create an atmosphere of goodwill. By establishing this rapport with the dealer you may be able to influence them to keep dealing through a deck, rather than shuffling, when the cards are good. And you can influence them to shuffle when the cards are bad.Other players will often tell you how to play your hand, or scoff at you for standing or hitting a hand. Pay no attention to them. They don’t know the game. Don’t let them influence your play. Chances are they won’t be around for long anyway.The basic strategy I’m about to present is based on the laws of probability. It was developed using a computer. It’s totally accurate. This isn’t some “system” that many people try to sell the unsuspecting player. This strategy is based on mathematics and the laws of probability. I did not develop this strategy. It has been proven by persons expert in the field of computers and mathematics. You can pick up some of the better books on blackjack and find the same strategy. It may be presented in another format, but it’s the same. It’s the same because it’s mathematical fact. It does not change. Play this strategy completely accurately and you’ll notice the results.LEARNING THE BASIC STRATEGYThe best way to learn the basic strategy is to use this chart and study it. Study it over and over until you know it without even thinking; until the plays are second nature. When you’re playing in a casino there are many distractions. You have the noise. The cocktail waitresses will be asking for orders, bringing drinks, and walking by. You have bad players making unbelievable plays sitting next to you. You have dealers with bad attitudes. You have to be able to concentrate through all of these distractions. You have to be able to play each hand perfectly. Make even one mistake and your odds drop.THE BASIC STRATEGYStudy the table at realmanmag.com and memorize it. It’s for a single deck game. Many casinos will even allow you to bring in your own basic strategy table and use it while you’re playing blackjack.CONCLUSIONIf it’s so easy why isn’t everyone doing it? First of all, it’s not that easy. Second, it takes some hard work, and not everyone is motivated enough to put in that hard work. Finally, everyone isn’t doing it, but a lot of people are. Many great card counters have been barred from playing in the casinos because they consistently win big money. They’ve resorted to writing books and teaching others how to beat the game of Blackjack.Casinos love players who try to play the basic strategy, but use it incorrectly. They also love players who try to count cards, but do it incorrectly. The reason is because those players continue to give the house a large advantage. That’s the reason I’ve stressed to you throughout this book that you must play each hand perfectly. Otherwise you’re giving away your odds in favor of the house.At the very least, study and use the basic strategy. This will enable you to have hours of gambling entertainment and not lose your money. You can go home with the money you started with instead of that empty feeling of going home broke. If you learn the count strategy perfectly, you can have many years of very profitable entertainment. Be sure and check out our next issue where we teach you the basics of counting cards.