Play Blackjack

by Henry Tamburin

Of all the casino games, why learn to play blackjack? What makes it “different” from any other casino game?
For one, the odds in blackjack are not constant.
They keep changing from one hand to the next depending on the cards that have been played.
For example, if four aces have been played from a single deck of cards what is the chance of getting a blackjack hand on the next round?
It’s zero because there are no more aces left in the unplayed deck of cards. The cards do have a memory. That’s not the case with craps, roulette and other casino games where the odds stay constant from one roll or spin to the next. The dice and the wheel have no memory. Ditto for slot machines. The bottom line is this is a game of skill not just luck.
Rules and Options
Not all games are created equal. You will often find different playing rules from one casino to the next and even within the same casino. Some rules are more player-favorable and others favor the casino. It’s these mix of rules that ultimately determines the casino’s overall edge and whether the game is good or bad.
Here is a summary of the rules that favor the player and those that favor the casino.
Player favorable rules
Doubling on any first two cards.
Doubling down after pair splitting
Resplit aces
Double on 3 or more cards
Blackjack pays 2 to 1  
Casino favorable rules
Paying 6-5 on a blackjack
Increasing the number of decks of cards
Dealer hits soft 17
Double only on 10 and 11
No resplitting of pairs
Dealer wins ties

How important are the rules to the player? The difference between a “good” game and a “bad” one can often add another 0.5% to the casino’s advantage over a basic strategy player.
For example, one of the best games in Las Vegas is a double deck game where the dealer stands on soft 17 and you can double down after splitting. The house edge against a basic strategy player is only about two tenths of a percent.
One of the absolute worst games in Las Vegas are the double deck games (and single deck) that only pay 6 -5 when you get a blackjack  (the house edge zooms to greater than 1.5%-Ouch!).
As long as you play blackjack in traditional games that pay 3-2 without any CSM, you have the best game in the house.
Learn the basic strategy or take a strategy card with when you play (they are casino legal) and you cut the house edge to half a percent or less.
When you learn to play blackjack, include a simple counting system like Speed Count. Basic strategy players will be able to gain the edge over the casino.
That should be enough reason why you should consider playing this game.

Play Blackjack is followed by Strategies & History
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Tips, Terms & Wins

Progressive BJ Side Bet
You bet a dollar and get paid if are dealt aces. The more aces the higher the payoff. Payoffs start at 3 to 1 if a player gets an ace as his first card.
Get two aces on first two cards and the payoff is 15 to 1 (if their suited it’s 50 to 1). The payoffs keep increasing for 3 aces (suited and non-suited) and finally 4 aces.
If you achieve the latter and all aces are either red or black, you win the amount on the progressive meter.

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