Pushing With 19, Losing With 20
February 21, 2019
Blackjack is a very popular casino card game all over the world. It also has the distinction of offering a player the best (house) odds of any game in the casino and one where skill does make a difference! Actually, the knowledge and skill a player brings to the table makes a huge difference. The difference between letting the “house” or casino pay for your “adult” entertainment instead of the other way around. Take a journey with me now into some of the more important concepts that anybody needs to know to increase their chances of going home a winner.
What Are The Odds?
Every game in a casino has one thing working against you as a gambler and that is the casino/house edge or odds. This is a casino’s legal way of cheating you and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Well, actually, nothing except ONE. Learn what the damn odds are and play accordingly. If you don’t at least do this – no matter what game you are playing, all you are really doing is helping them send you home flat broke that much quicker!
Arguably the bet thing about Blackajck is the fact that it offers any gambler the best odds of any game in the casino. Period. Let that fact sink in for a few seconds or minutes. WHY would you (or any other gambler) choose to risk your money at any other game, then? Well, I can think of two reasons, maybe. One, you are STUPID (or worse!) or too damn lazy to learn even the basic rules of the game you are playing at. Two, you have so much more money than brains you could care less how much money you willingly and foolishly lose while you act like a big jerk.
Now, if either of these descriptions fits you, please immediately leave; I can’t and won’t help you. Really, just leave now. Still here? Great, glad you are and I know I can and will help you enjoy the game more and have more winning sessions.
So, what are the odds in the game of blackjack? Well, one of the unique things about blackjack is that there are at least several different factors that decide what house edge you will play against. Put another way, the house edge does and always will largely depend on factors like the number of decks in the shoe, how blackjack is paid off, whether the dealer stands on soft 17 or not, and so on.
In general, though, with “perfect” basic playing strategy, the house odds you will be playing against will be around 0.5%. This is as good as it gets in a casino, period. The only other game you can play and risk your money at, which offers anywhere near that low a house edge is craps. That is the subject of a different site, though, and will not be covered here. Just for comparison’s sake, the slot machines, which might be a casino’s most popular game, comes in with a house edge around 2-10% (or more). That equals facing a disadvantage of four to twenty times MORE against you! Want to lose your money, or ALL your money, that much quicker? Well, good for you and what the hell are you still doing here?
You Can Count Cards? So What?
Ever since Edward Thorpe and especially Ken Uston, blackjack players all over the world know about counting cards. They mistakenly think that being able to do this guarantees them a profit or winning session. NOTHING could be farther from the truth!
First of all, counting cards isn’t even the first skill a professional blackjack player masters. Get that through your head right now and I will have already done you a great favor. If you don’t or refuse to believe me or my statement, here we go again – DON’T WALK AWAY FROM THIS SITE RIGHT NOW – RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!
You can take your world-class card counting skills anywhere you want and have all the over-confidence you want. The casino will still take you to the cleaners and send you home broke.
Still here? Good. Let’s get on with this.
The one skill you MUST master before you learn how to count cards perfectly is how to play perfect basic strategy. The one skill you have to learn after you master both basic playing strategy and counting cards is how to calculate the EV or Expected Value of a hand and then adjust your playing and betting strategies accordingly.
Playing and Betting Strategies
Now that you know the beginning of the basics to be able to have more winning than losing sessions. Believe me, you definitely will have “streaks” at a table and in a casino that will drive you mad – if you let it! Let me put this a different way, one that relates directly to the title of this post. The whole basis of your playing strategy is NOT to have a “better” hand than the dealer. You MUST keep this in mind in order to even have a slim chance of walking away from the table a winner.
You primary goal when playing blackjack, if you want to win, is to have a hand with a card total better than the dealer, without “busting” and immediately losing the hand and your money.
In blackjack, the cards don’t have all the same (point) value. Tens and “picture” cards – the Jack, Queen, and King – have a value of ten. The cards from two to nine have a value equal to what card is, or 2 through 9.So, let’s say the dealer has dealt you a Jack and a four for your hand. Before you use the optimal playing strategy, what is your card or hand total? The answer that should immediately pop into your head or mind is 14. This total is what will always determine what you do next with your hand.
Now, I hate to spring a “nasty” surprise on you, but … did you notice I intentionally left out the card value for one kind of card – the aces. I did this to see if you were paying attention and for a much more important reason. The ace can have either one of two values. The values are either one or eleven. You can’t afford to not learn or forget this.
So, let’s say your hand has the following two cards in it, when the dealer first gives you the cards: an ace and an 8. What is your total now? The answer is there are two answers – nine or nineteen. Did you get this right? I hope so, or you really don’t want to be like the other fools (and that’s putting it mildly) I see every time I look at players at a blackjack table in a casino.
Remember what I said a little earlier? Your goal to win with the hand you are dealt is to have a larger or greater total than what the dealer has. It IS as simple as that, but you would be amazed at how many players show complete ignorance of this fact and principle. Then, they walk away mad or furious blaming the dealer and casino for their “bad luck.” Get this through your head. If they didn’t even have the basic playing strategy down, they kicked their own ass and only helped the casino destroy them. Nio ands, ifs, or buts. NO BS or excuses, please!!
Consider that you have only begun to learn how to win at blackjack in a casino. This is only the beginning and you have a long and not-so-easy road ahead of you – if you choose to return and continue your lessons.
By the way, if you are a knowledgable and smart player, you would almost always stand on a hand that has an ace and nine in it. In this case, there are literally only two hands or card totals the dealer can beat you with. They would be if the dealer has a hand total of either twenty (20) or even worse, 21 or blackjack. In either of these cases, you lose the hand and your money (that you bet).
Referring again to this post title, how well do you think your session is going to go IF again and again, the dealer is doing just what I said. Beating you with player hands/totals of nineteen and even twenty??!! Let me put it this way. Even the best and incredibly rare thoroughly professional blackjack players in the world go through exactly this. Believe it; I do not lie.
How Deep Are Your Pockets?
If you have achieved the goal of following everything I did my best to share with and teach you above, I am impressed and there is great hope for you. Hope for what? What I said earlier on this site. Hope and increased chances that you will have more winning sessions in a casino at the blackjack table.
That is my goal when I play blackjack in a casino. To win; not lose and contribute even more money to the “suits” and casino management. Screw them; they’re not going home broke – ever. Let them pay for my entertainment. That’s always my goal and yes, I do accomplish exactly that at times.
Almost time to wrap this post up. Please try to remember the following. There are casinos all over the world that offer blackjack. Casinos cost many millions or even over a billion dollars to just build!! When you site down at a blackjack table and give them your money, they give you plastic chips in return to play with. The chips have different colors, depending on how much each (and yes, I do mean each) chip is worth.
White chips are worth $1.00 each. Red chips, $5.00, green chips $25.00, and black chips are worth $100.00 each. You couldn’t be more wrong if you think that the dealer is handling racks of chips that don’t contain any chips that have a value of well over $100.00 each. What is the highest denomination chip in some casinos? Brace yourself. The answer is a chip (I’m still trying to find out what color it is, actually) that by itself is worth $100,000.00. Let that really sink in deeply into your brain or mind.
A casino shoe is what the blackjack dealer deals the cards out of. In my city, the shoe contains six decks. In many other cities, the shoe holds eight decks of cards. The total number of cards the dealer goes through in a shoe with eight decks is 8 X 52 or = 406 cards. This means if you stay through the whole shoe, until the dealer has to put a new stack of cards in the shoe, you will play far more than only a dozen or two hands. Assume you know nothing and lose at least half of your hands. If you are betting (risking) $25.00 each hand,, play about 30 hands and lose only half of them, you will have lost a total of $750.00 until it is time for a new shoe.One, and only one shoe!
Suppose you want to stay for two, three, or even four shoes. How much money do you need to walk up to the table with? NOT only 406 X 3 or 4. No, you need somewhere near $2,250.00 to even play as long as you want and hope to.
I can and will 100% guarantee you that the dealer has FAR more than that amount of money in his/her racks they take chips from to pay you when you have a winning hand. How much more? I really don’t think you want to know or that I want to tell you. Use your brains or imagination.
Is it worth your time, energy, and money to learn how to play blackjack extremely well? Especially when you consider the bad or horrible “losing streaks” I mentioned above? Only YOU can decide this. If your answer is yes, I can and will take you as far as you want to go. It’s up to you. All you have to do is return and learn more. It’s your time, money, and life as I just said. All I can do is teach you as well as I can how to win and not lose money at blackjack in a casino. Remember. Is ISN’T only money you risk and can lose in a casino – at blackjack or any other game. You are also risking and taking time out of your life – which is the same as literally risking that much time out of your life!
You decide and if the answer is yes, come back. I will be here waiting, ready and willing to turn you into one very good blackjack player. Promise.