For anyone who aspires to be a skilled Blackjack Player

pmutts

Dormant account
PABnonaccred
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Location
North Texas
  • First


As the previous posters stated, learn the correct basic strategy. There is only ONE correct basic strategy in the game of Blackjack. There are some minor variations to the strategy depending upon rules variations, number of decks, etc., however, I suggest just learning and memorizing this strategy prior to ever playing for any significant amount of money. To simplify the process, just stick to the 6 Deck Shoe Game where you are allowed to double on any first two cards--including doubling down on a split pair.

Currently, the 6 or 8 deck game (6 always preferable to 8) is by far the most prevalent game in casinos throughout the country. The only other major rule variations are, Dealer Must Hit Soft 17 (unfavorable to the player) and whether or not Surrender is allowed, (favorable to the player). Any time the casino gives you an additional option in how you play your hand this is advantageous if you know the correct play in any given situation.

Many casino gift shops actually sell a credit card sized chart with the correct basic strategy rules. Casino bosses and executives are happy to let you use these at their tables because you will still be at a one to two percent disadvantage on their game if you follow it to the letter. I have attached a photo of a Basic Strategy card at the bottom. I see one play that is to my knowledge incorrect. The card says you should always double down on Soft 19 against a dealer 6. While this is an advanced play to a card counter in certain situations, it is not correct to always do it and I recommend that you NEVER do it.

  • Second

If you plan to be more than a casual player then you should learn the basics of counting cards. Count systems are actually easy to employ with practice--even in games of 6 or 8 decks. I will highly recommend two books. You will probably have to order from Amazon if you want them:

"The World's Greatest Blackjack Book" Revised and updated edition, by Lance Humble, PHD and . . .

"Blackjack, A Winner's Handbook, by Jerry L. Patterson (last updated in 1990 to my knowledge).

There are many other excellent books available on the game but these are my personal favorites. Keep in mind that both books contain considerably outdated information, however, overall they are informative, educational, and especially in the case of Humble's book--a good read.

  • Third

MOST IMPORTATLY, No matter what level of skill you attain in the game, NEVER NEVER NEVER make the mistake of thinking card counting and all the other technical skills for the game will make you unbeatable. Blackjack strategy is pure mathematics but this math is based upon Long-Term statistical computer simulations of millions upon millions of hands. Trust me, you will NEVER get into the long-term. This is what makes Mr. Patterson's book an essential for any serious player.

MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OF THE ABOVE INFO for Blackjack or any other form of gambling.

Know that regardless of you skill level in the game, psychological control, self control, proper money management, and keeping your head on your shoulders when gambling is 99.5% of the game---not the .5 to 1 percent advantage you may gain over the house as an accomplished counter. Any major casino in the US, i.e. MGM/Mirage Resorts or Harrah's properties know that most counters are no threat whatsoever. They will tolerate your skills and your wins in most cases for a very long time because they know that eventually the counter will beat himself worse than any other player when he hits that unavoidable and very long losing streak. The counter will play into this streak foolishly thinking he will dig out because of his advantage. If I had known this 25 years ago, I would be a wealthy man.

Only the extremely rare professional who has both the bankroll, and the psychological Control on a consistent basis will be barred from any decent casino in the US. I have been asked to leave many times--especially in Downtown Vegas, or Laughlin, and other places. I have been shuffled up on and I have had the shoe cut in half countless times and dumpy places. But, I have NEVER been officially barred from any casino. The reason for this is because I am unfortunately not one of those rare people who has managed to keep my head and manage my money consistently over the years.

I hope this helps anyone who aspires to become an accomplished player in the fascinating and exciting game of Blackjack.

BKStrategyTable.jpg
 

Jasminebed

Game old gal
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Location
Ontario
None of that is bad advice, but I think the edge to card count on a six or more multiple deck online shoe which is shuffled after every hand is so neglible as to negate any value from it, given that only split and doubles in particular cirumstances benefit. Most card counting strageties involve raising bet when the deck is favourable, and the shuffle after every hand never really gets you to that point. All those systems involve some kind of modified Martingale too, and table limits work agains you there, even land based.

It's all pretty good advice for B&Ms however.

Some recent stats from Atlantic City really surprised me on the house hold on blackjack, it must be down to poor play by players, because the house edge is not that large.

Blackjack is not really a game of skill, but lack of skill will eat you alive.
 

pmutts

Dormant account
PABnonaccred
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Location
North Texas
I completely agree

None of that is bad advice, but I think the edge to card count on a six or more multiple deck online shoe which is shuffled after every hand is so neglible as to negate any value from it, given that only split and doubles in particular cirumstances benefit. Most card counting strageties involve raising bet when the deck is favourable, and the shuffle after every hand never really gets you to that point. All those systems involve some kind of modified Martingale too, and table limits work agains you there, even land based.

It's all pretty good advice for B&Ms however.

Some recent stats from Atlantic City really surprised me on the house hold on blackjack, it must be down to poor play by players, because the house edge is not that large.

Blackjack is not really a game of skill, but lack of skill will eat you alive.

I guess I should have specified that I am referring only to live Casino (B&M) play. As far as I know, ALL online games randomize the 6 or however many decks between each deal so of it is impossible to get an advantage of any kind over the house.

I Really like this: "Blackjack is not really a game of skill, but lack of skill will eat you alive." I could have never said it better.

Bottom line, money management, control of emotion, bankroll, discipline, and plenty of bankroll are essential. Skill is mandatory just to have a prayer.

So many of the games on the Vegas Strip now are even dealt from the dreadful "continuous shoe." The "King" -- Shuffle Master's version and the "One to Six device" are in use on every table in all pits except the main and high limit pits in Las Vegas nicest casinos. I think those devices are worse than playing against a computer.

I would say that anyone who aspires to actually make a living by playing Blackjack today seriously reconsider. There are still some EXCELLENT games available in certain casinos in Las Vegas and other places, but all of them are higher limit and I'm not going to divulge exactly where those tables are located. That would just make them disappear all the quicker.
 

secret2

irishbrit62
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Location
New York, United States
Blackjack is not really a game of skill, but lack of skill will eat you alive." I could have never said it bette'r.

Excellent. Exactly. :cool:

I bought, ' BJ Verite'...anyone else?

Btw...I mourn not playing Elimination BJ...I know.I know..but I do! Damn. Anyone know a place? ;)
 

pmutts

Dormant account
PABnonaccred
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Location
North Texas
I did not know what "Martingale Strategy" was so I PM'd Jasminebed . . .

She explained it to me.

I'm posting my response for everyone. Also, Secret2---I don't know what "Elimination BJ" is. I thought I knew EVERYTHING about Blackjack. :oops:


Ooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh! That! Martingale rings a bell, but I've always known that idiotic "system" as "Double Up to Catch Up."

What a losing proposition. Let's say you are at a $5. table:

1. $5.
2. $10.
3. $20
4. $40
5. $80
6. $160
7. $320
8. $640
9. $1280
10. $2560
11. $6120

What kind of fool would risk over $10000 for a lousy $5 win?????????????:lolup: And yes, even in the Bellagio, the table limit ($10,000) except in the Salon Prive, would get you.

I'm sure you have played plenty enough to know that it is totally possible to lose 10 or 11 hands in a row. As for cards being shuffled or "randomized" after every hand, it negates any possible advantage from counting but the long-term house advantage remains approximately 1.5% with today's most common rules in a 6 deck game. It's just like playing off the top of the shoe on every single hand. I have had some incredible runs in BJ online in both directions. When it turns good I'll press aggressively. That is of course a double edged sword.

The slots are fun--I consider the five reels to be the new and true "Crack of Gambling." That honor used to go to Video Poker. Do you ever play VP? That's what I have gravitated to more and more in recent years.

I started playing BJ in Vegas in 1982. I learned to count in early 83. It amazed me during those years how every single trip to Vegas I would find yet another casino that had gone from 4 to 6 decks and eliminated double decks. Single decks were aplenty, but if you were skilled you would be quickly run off the table or shuffled up on. But, Downtown the Dealer hit soft 17 & on the strip, the dealer did not. Those days are over of course. Now you have to bet $100 or more a hand for the "privilege" of those rules if at all.
 

LaHutti

Sr. ÜberUnter Ass. Man.
PABaccred
PABnonaccred
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Mar 19, 2008
Location
East and West
Hand 11 would be $5120 and not $6120 .... not that that's not bad enough, but just for accuracy ;)

Other than that, you are absolutely correct, it would be insane. Still some people come on here, and other forums trying to sell "systems" based on that, mostly for roulette (Where it ALSO doesn't work).
 

pmutts

Dormant account
PABnonaccred
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Location
North Texas
I claim to play at a professional level . . .

Hand 11 would be $5120 and not $6120 .... not that that's not bad enough, but just for accuracy ;)

Other than that, you are absolutely correct, it would be insane. Still some people come on here, and other forums trying to sell "systems" based on that, mostly for roulette (Where it ALSO doesn't work).

:oops::oops::oops: . . . And I missed that simple calculation in my head. I knew it was wrong in the back of my mind--but I stayed up playing online all night last night and I'm exhausted. Unfortunately, I threw back a sickeningly large amount of an incredible run--the first incredible run I have had in a year. Still, I should receive a considerable payment next week for the first time in a year and it could not have come at a time when I need it more. :lolup:

I cannot believe anyone would fall for that--but as they say, "There is a sucker born every minute."
 

weapon

Banned User - multiple forum accounts - shill for
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Asia
wow!!! and this what I call full information.. thanks!!!! :)
 

pmutts

Dormant account
PABnonaccred
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Location
North Texas
It's an extremely borderline play, 12 against a 4.

Why stand on 12 when the dealer card is 4? Are you hoping he would bust? It seems pretty unlikely..

The correct basic strategy play is to stand with 12 against a 4. If you do not count cards, over the long run--it would be to your advantage to stand. This is a VERY borderline play however. If you are a counter, then it is correct to hit 12 vs 4 when the count is less than zero. Also, it is correct to hit 12 against a 5 or 6 when the true count is equal to or less than -1 in most systems.

Making this play consistently as a counter--especially when winning--will likely draw heat from the pit and surveillance. You must have and act, and choose to do it when it mean the most--otherwise it is not worth it, at least usually.
 
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