The other major blackjack strategy in an on line casino is known as card counting. In this system, the player keeps track of how many high cards remain in the deck. The theory is that high cards are good for the player. It’s true that high cards are also good for the house, but through formulas developed by the Fifties mathematicians and computer programs written by today’s experts, it was determined that players who count cards can actually gain a short-term advantage over the casino.
But because those situations don’t occur that often, playing blackjack professionally can be a grind. Card-counting players must wade through hundreds if not thousands of hands before the odds turn in their favour. And then the counter measures employed by casinos may short circuit their chance to make any serious money.
For the recreational player, basic strategy makes much more sense. While the casual player doesn’t play to lose, he also doesn’t want to cram for an exam to enjoy a visit to a casino.
But the key to the basic strategy is to stick to it; avoid a rush of blood to the head. To be successful at basic strategy, you have to play it faithfully and approach the game confident that your basic strategy will be successful.
Misplaying hands will be the downfall of recreational players. Standing on a hard 12 against a dealer’s upcard of Seven to Ace will cost players as much as 25 per cent of the hands. Hitting a hard 15 against a dealer’s Five or Six upcard costs just as much.
Doubling down on a hard eight against a dealer’s Seven to Ace is a common mistake, costing between 25 per cent and
60 per cent of the player’s bets. But a blackjack player who doesn’t double down on a hard ten or 11 costs himself over 30 per cent of his money.
Splitting cards is often an overlooked aspect of basic strategy. Players who neglect splitting can give away between 16 per cent and 50 per cent depending upon the dealer’s upcard. If you’ve ever tried to split Tens at a blackjack table, it won’t be long before you’re playing alone.
Other players instinctively know that it is one of the worst moves. And the facts back them up. Splitting Tens can give away more than 50 per cent of your bets, depending upon the dealer’s upcard. Even against the Five or Six, the worst upcards for the dealer, splitting Tens costs nearly 20 per cent of your bets.
The lesson is that the basic strategy has proven to be the best blackjack strategy for recreational players. It gives you the best chance to beat the casino. When you go with a feeling or decide to take a shot, you’re helping the casino, and it certainly doesn’t need your help.