You don’t have to scour the web to try and get some blackjack pointers. There is no shortage of people that will offer you their own blackjack strategy, or even the top ten tips to win, etc. But since blackjack (aka “21”) is a straightforward game, statistics work nicely with the game. This means that there are a few cardinal rules the player should follow in order to increase his odds.
Not only will these basic strategies give you a sharper edge, it will also make the game more fun. As long as you know the difference between a “hit”, double-down, and a split, you are ready to rock and roll. Now, its time to prepare you for the table.
The Dealer Always has a Ten
You will notice that when the dealer deals the cards one of their cards is always faced down. The reason is simple; it is so you will incorrectly bet and lose your money. But, since there is roughly a 30% chance that the card can be a ten (face value card or an actual “10”), the rule is to always play your hand as if you know that card is going to be a ten. Those are situations where you are better off not hitting because it looks like the dealer will bust himself. The thought process behind assuming the dealer always has a ten as his hold card is the “Pascal’s wager” of gambling. If you believe in it, and its wrong, you are no worse off. But if you refuse to believe, you will get burned every time.
Bust Cards: When to Stand
Most people tend to think strictly about their hand when they take a hit or stand. The reality is that the dealer’s hand is just as important as your own when it comes to deciding to take a hit. One of these rules is when the dealer gives himself a “bust card”. IF the dealer is showing a 5 or 6, those are “bust cards”. The reason is that the dealer must hit on anything 17 and under. Then, we remember from above that the dealer has much better chance of having a ten as his hidden card. So, if the dealer reveals a ten as their face-down card, they now have either 15 or 16 and they must hit! The odds of them dealing themselves another ten and busting are the same as the hold card being a ten. They will bust most of the time.