No matter what size of bankroll you take to the casino, it is always more fun to win than it is to lose. If you agree with this statement, read on because this is for you. People lose because they let the casino take their money from them. They do this by playing the wrong games that have a big “house” edge, they are under-capitalized (bets are too large for the amount of money in their bankroll) or worse they are playing incorrectly.
Are you playing Blackjack in such a way that the other players at the table are left wondering if, when you went to school you took the “little yellow bus”? Believe it or not there is a way to play Blackjack to make it a 100% negative expectation game, just hit every hand until you bust.
One of the quickest ways to lose all your money at the casino is to play blackjack without any strategy, or worse – follow the dealer’s rules and hit 16 or less and stand on 17 or more. Can’t lose fast enough? Then play hunches or at a continuous shuffle machine table and play more than 1 hand.
Recently I saw a player who would not hit 12 or over, then couldn’t understand why he was the only one at the table not winning. When the dealer shows a 7 – ace they only bust about 1 time out of 4 – So if you always stand on 12 and over you will lose 3 out of every 4 hands when the dealer shows 7 – Ace.
Even when the dealer shows a 2 through 6 they will only bust approximately 1/3 of the time. So using a strategy that stands on any hand of 12 and above is a big loser.
Gamblers as a general rule want something for nothing, they want to win but aren’t willing to put in the time to learn “how” to win. I want you to make an investment in yourself, learn to play the game correctly. If you are reading my column you probably already know that the game of blackjack has the lowest “house edge” of all the casino games offered at Arizona Casinos. However to get the house advantage down to around -.57, you must play perfect basic strategy, and that will require some studying.
Here is a simple basic strategy chart that will work for most Arizona Casino Blackjack games;
Player’s hand Actions to take
5-8 always hit
9 Double vs Dealers up card of 3-6, otherwise hit
10 Double vs Dealers up card of 2-9, otherwise hit
11 Always double
12 Stand vs Dealers up card of 4-6, otherwise hit
13-16 Stand vs Dealers up card of 2-6, otherwise hit
17 or more Always stand
A-2, A-3 Double vs Dealers up card of 5 & 6, otherwise hit
A-4, A-5 Double vs Dealers up card of 4, 5, 6, otherwise hit
A-6 Double vs Dealers up card of 3 – 6, otherwise hit
A-7 Double vs. Dealers up card of 2 – 6, stand vs. 7 & 8, otherwise hit
A-8, A-9 Always stand
2-2 Split vs Dealers up card of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
3-3 Split vs Dealers up card of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
4-4 Split vs Dealers up card of 5 & 6, otherwise hit
5-5 Never split; treat as ’10’
6-6 Split vs Dealers up card of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
7-7 Split vs Dealers up card of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
8-8 Always split
9-9 Split vs Dealers up card of 2 through 9, except 7, o/w hit
10-10 Never split
A-A Always split
Many gamblers play blackjack by hunches or gut feelings. Doing this gives the house about a 10% advantage. In other words you will lose about $10 for every $100 played. Learn to play perfect basic strategy to reduce the amount lost on average to $.57 for every $100 played. By playing perfect basic your money will last a lot longer.
Once you have basic strategy mastered you can learn the “Ace- five” Count and reduce the casino “edge” to almost an even gamble. This is a very simple count that assigns a value of -1 to aces and a count of +1 to 5s. You count the aces and fives as they are dealt to get a plus or minus value. Your bet size for the upcoming hand depends on whether you have a positive or negative count. If you want to learn this strategy – go to my web site and learn it for free. Just go to www.freewebs.com/tjsblackjackcorner
T.J. Jorgensen has been a professional blackjack player for over 20 years. He is well known for his live tournament play. He has competed against, and beaten, some of the top tournament players in the world and has won the prestigious World Series of Blackjack.