Blackjack is one of the most popular games in a casino
October 16, 2012 3:00 AM
by Marc Meltzer
Keep it simple.
Blackjack isn’t a very difficult game at face value. The goal is simply to get as close to 21 as you can without going over while being closer than the dealer. The idea of playing blackjack is simple yet playing with perfect strategy isn’t quite that easy.
Blackjack is one of the most popular games in a casino because it’s simple to play and has some of the best odds. This brings the smart gambler to the game and the novice, who may not know the correct strategy.
Besides novice players there are a lot of distractions at the table, including free booze and idle table chatter, which may not allow for players to always make the correct play in a session of blackjack.
Perfect blackjack strategy minimizes that house edge, but in the long run the casino still has the edge. However, most people aren’t playing blackjack long enough for the actual odds to take effect. There are highs and lows that occur over time to reach that small house edge. Generally you’ll play long enough to enjoy some of those highs. Unfortunately the lows come up too.
Let’s step outside of playing perfect blackjack. If you’re playing in the high limit room with a large bankroll you’re probably going try to keep your distractions to a minimum, attempt to count cards and try to play perfect strategy. However, most gamblers aren’t like this.
There are more people in the casino who look for lower limits so they can extend their small bankroll as long as possible. They may be chatting with people at the table, drinking a few too many and playing blackjack as the backdrop to their evening out. They want to play perfect strategy but also wish the cocktail waitress to hurry up with the next round.
The novice is often scoffed at even though the math will show their mistakes don’t have much of an effect on the next player’s hand. If you’re a novice or only paying partial attention to your blackjack game there is a very simple, imperfect strategy that can be employed to not get yelled at and keep yourself financially alive.
• Hit until you reach hard 17. Done.
• Split Aces and 8’s
• Hit if both you and the dealer have a 2 showing. Otherwise, do not hit if the dealer has a 6 or lower showing.
Modifications can be made to this simple strategy to improve your odds depending on your ability to do any more calculations. There are plenty of books, websites, mobile phone apps and cards that will show you how to play with perfect blackjack strategy if you’d like to learn more, but that’s not the purpose here.
Life isn’t always about being perfect. Sometimes you just want to go out and have a good time with your friends. Some people would rather drop a few hundred playing blackjack and drinking for a few hours instead of going to a bar or club.
If you don’t want to play blackjack with these people, move to a higher limit table where the barrier for entry is too high for most people to play frivolously.
Contact Marc at MarcMeltzer@GamingToday.com.