Blackjack is one of the most played casino games in the world, with millions of players taking up the game either professionally or as a hobby. Blackjack is a game of skill, although there is an element of luck involved as well. This makes the game well loved among both professionals and novices. Blackjack can be played in a number of different ways although the basic game remains the same.
Blackjack – The Game
The object of the game is very simple. It is to try to achieve a perfect card total (21) or reaching as close to that number as possible without overshooting the mark. In order to win a game of Blackjack, the player’s total must be higher than that of the dealer without going bust (total over 21).
In Blackjack, the player always plays first. The game begins with two cards being dealt face up to the player and two cards to the dealer, one face up and one face down. Since the player always plays first, the dealer or the house has the edge in this game. Another factor that affects the wins in a Blackjack game is the number of decks of cards that are used to play. When players develop a strategy, generally the number of decks used influences their chances of winning. A Blackjack game with a higher number of card decks in play generally has a higher house advantage, which means it is less favorable to the player’s game. for example, a game with a single deck has a house advantage that is around 0.17%, however this number steadily increases and in a game with eight decks, the house advantage increases almost four-fold to 0.66%.
The basic Blackjack strategy is a simple mathematical chart that is drawn up to illustrate the moves the player must make to be successful in Blackjack. This chart is easily available and is an illustration of how to play a hand given the first cards and the dealer’s one card. Using this strategy will ensure that the player makes the best possible decision given the cards on hand. The difficulty in understanding the chart arises when the player has taken a Hit.
While the chart may be readily available to Blackjack players, the ability to interpret it correctly is what makes the difference between a good, solid player and an average one. Another thing one must keep in mind when playing Blackjack with the strategy chart is that while it is a guideline, it is not a surefire winning strategy and there is always a level of uncertainty that is brought in by the nature of the game.
To be able to successfully use the chart, one must be able to commit it to memory first. There is a logical pattern to the chart and so memorizing it is fairly simple. It is also important to remember that there are different charts for pair splitting and also for soft totals.
Apart from this basic strategy, there are other important blackjack strategies. These include card counting, Composition-dependent strategy and shuffle tracking. These strategies are a little more advanced than the basic strategy chart, but they have shown much better results in terms of win percentages.