I’m an east coaster in New Jersey and I love my Atlantic City a few times a year. I am not a gamble-holic, if you will, but I do enjoy the table games when I go down, especially blackjack. There are hundreds of thousands of books out there that go over strategies and card counting techniques that can be cumbersome especially to the more novice player that just wants to enjoy his or her time in the casino. I have put together, in this article, some of the simpler strategies so that you can give yourself the best chance at being successful at the table. Like I said, I am not a millionaire nor claim to be one, just an average guy who knows when to walk away from the table and is happy with a couple hundred dollar win here and there. Here are some of my basic strategies that will give you better odds of success.
Step 1: Picking the Right Table to Sit At
I can’t emphasize how important this is. I always look at the minimum bet first. I will not go to any table that has more than a $15 minimum bet. I prefer a $10 minimum bet. My favorite casino is Bally’s Wild Wild West. You can find some $10 dollar tables there throughout the day.
Also, make sure it is either blackjack or blackjack with Lucky Ladies and there is more than one deck in play. The Lucky Ladies table has an extra bet that you can make that you get odds on certain hands that you get and the dealer gets. I rarely play that, I suggest you don’t make that extra bet; but even without that it is still like playing at a regular blackjack table.
Now there is one more thing that you will want to do before you sit down. Look at the dealer and the other players on the table and look at the dealer. Watch a hand or two. I want to make sure that the people at the table seem to have a grasp at what they are doing. I can’t tell you how many times you will find the drunk person on the table taking a hit when he or she shouldn’t or the clueless person splitting 10s and so on. Those people could really kill you and the rest of the table. I also want to make sure the dealer seems to be in good spirits. I am all into the karma part of the equation and a dealer with an attitude just gives off a bad vibe for me.
Step 2: Get a Feel for the Dealer
O.K. Now you have found your table and you are ready to sit down. Here’s what I want you to do. Play 10 straight hands with the minimum bet. Get a feel for how lucky the dealer is. If you win 5 or more hands, stay on and we can move to the next step of my advice. If you lose more than you win during that 10 hand sequence, bail out and follow step 1 again.
Step 3: Giving Yourself the Best Chance to Win Some Money
As I said earlier, I am not going to make you a million dollars. Nobody is, unless you are a high roller and can find a table with a $100,000 maximum, which you won’t, you are not going to even come close. I will assume everyone who is reading this at least knows the basic fundamentals of blackjack and the basics of when you should hit and stay (example: dealer is showing a 10 and you a 15, you hit; dealer showing a 10 and you an 18 you stay…stuff like that). Assuming that is true, let me make a quick point: YOU WILL NOT WIN EVERY HAND! Nobody does. The key to winning money is putting yourself in the best position to give yourself the best odds of winning on a particular hand. If you can know when to bet more and win, and bet the minimum when you lose, you can come out very much ahead.
Now I don’t count cards, per se, I like to relax and have fun, not feel like I am in Calculus class again. What I do is simple. I just observe the cards. Its pretty obvious to see since the high cars are pictured (except the 10 and the Ace) and the low cards aren’t how the deck is playing out. Never bet any more than the minimum when the shoe starts. Get a few deal feel of how the shoe is behaving before you start to go wild. If you have seen a lot of picture cards the first few deals, then stay with the minimum; a win is a win no matter what. If the first few deals (lets say 4 or 5) sees minimal picture card turns, then start to up your bet until the picture cards seem to come out more. The reason for this is that there is a better chance of you getting a desirable hand when the odds are in your favor (18, 19, 20, and even blackjack).
Its as simple as that for me. Don’t ride hot streaks..If you have won 3 in a row while betting higher than the minimum, tone it down for a hand or two..You will be happy you did. Here are a couple of notes I will throw in for good measure….just some notes that others will appreciate your wisdom at the table:
- Never split 8′s unless the dealer is showing a 7 or lower. If the dealer has an 8 or higher, then I am basically risking double my bet to get 2 18s. A hefty price to pay. I would rather take my chances on the 16 hit; if I bust, then so be it…but I didn’t bet twice
- If the dealer is showing less than a 7, always double on soft 15, 16, 17…..the reason for this is pretty straight forward: an Ace (16 and 17), 2,3,4,5 (15 and 16), and 6 (15) will give you a desirable result.
- Never double when showing an 11 and the dealer shows 10…I just can’t take that chance..I rarely do it when the dealer is showing a 9 or 8 either, but to each his or her own on that one.
- 16: OK I always hit on 16 when the dealer is showing a 7 or better. Some people don’t. What I will say is stay consistent. Either you hit all the time…or you stay all the time. Don’t start changing up your strategy.. The table will thank you for that.
This is about all I can say about this. If you want you can try some of this strategy with online blackjack first (for free or for real money).
Check my How to Win at Betting [http://www.how-to