Blackjack is my favorite casino game by far, especially if you don’t count poker rooms as part of the casino gaming experience. The game has so many different reasons to love that I decided to make a list.
This article includes seven reasons why I love blackjack. And once you see why I love the game, the odds are good that it’s going to become one of your favorite games.
You start by using the simple math behind blackjack to improve your odds, and then learn how to use the perfect strategy every time you play. Eventually you can advance to advantage techniques and start winning even more.
1 – The Simple Math of Blackjack
The main reason why I love blackjack is because it’s easy for me to understand the math behind the game. And even if you don’t like math, real money blackjack is simple enough that you can learn how to use simple mathematical strategies to help you play better and win a little more often.
Blackjack starts with a deck of cards and a base set of house rules. Even if the game uses two or more decks it doesn’t change the math. Each deck is made up of the same cards so you don’t have to worry about the number of decks.
The base house rules dictate what you can and can’t do in certain situations and how the dealer plays their hand. Knowing what the base game rules are and what cards are in the deck is useful in many ways.
I don’t have room in this article to teach you all of the ways you can use math when you play blackjack. In fact, entire books are available dealing with blackjack math, so it’s a deep subject. But here’s a simple example to show how math helps you play blackjack.
When you have 11 or below, you know you need to take another card. You know that the only way to bust is to get 22 or more, and you can’t go over 21 by taking an addition card with 11 or lower. This sounds like common sense, but it’s how you use basic math when you play.
2 – Doubling Down and Winning
When you have a total of 9, 10, or 11, it’s often profitable to double down. Doubling down costs you an extra wager and you receive exactly one more card.
Your decision on when to double down depends on what the dealer has. This is all covered when you use blackjack strategy. But basically, when you have a better than even chance to beat the dealer by taking one more card, you double down. And when you don’t have a good chance to win with one more card, you just hit instead of doubling down.
You need to learn the right times to double down. Because when you can get more money in play with an edge, it improves your overall odds of winning. And you need to avoid putting more money in play when you don’t have an edge so that you reduce your losses.
I love the feeling of doubling down to get a 20 or 21 and seeing the dealer land at 19 or less, or better yet, seeing them bust.
3 – Splitting Bad Pairs
Some pairs are good when you play blackjack, and some are terrible. For example, when you have a pair of eights, it’s a terrible hand. But when you have a pair of eights, you don’t have to play them together. You can split them and start two different hands with an eight.
The best strategy for every pair that you can receive when you play blackjack is listed when you use a strategy card. You always split eights and aces, and you never split fives and cards worth 10 points. Other pair hands depend on what the dealer has.
Just like deciding whether or not to double down, the decisions you make influence how much you win or lose overall. This is why it’s so important to always use the correct strategy when you’re dealing with blackjack pairs.
4 – Natural Blackjacks
When you get an ace and a card worth 10 points, you have a natural blackjack. And the best thing about getting a natural blackjack is that you get paid more than even money.
I only play blackjack on tables that pay 3:2 for a natural blackjack. So, when I bet $20 and get a blackjack, I get my $20 back and I get an extra $30. If I’m betting $100, I get my $100 back plus another $150.
Getting paid more than even money when you get a blackjack is one of the main reasons why it’s the best game in the casino. This makes the return to player percentage higher overall, which gives you better odds to win.
I mentioned that I only play on blackjack tables that pay 3:2 for a blackjack. You should also follow this rule. Some tables pay 6:5, and this costs you money, so you should never play at these tables.
Using the two examples above, if blackjack only pays 6:5 when you bet $20, you only get $24 back instead of $30. And if you bet $100, you only get $120 back instead of $150. This difference adds up fast and shows why you shouldn’t play on 6:5 tables.
5 – Using Perfect Strategy
I love the fact that I can use strategy to influence my odds when I play blackjack. Every decision you make when you play blackjack either helps you make more money or helps you lose less.
The great news is that you can use what you know about using math to make the right decisions in blackjack. The bad news is that this gets complicated in some situations. It’s easy to see why you need to split eights, but it’s more challenging trying to figure out when to double down with nine and when you should just hit.
I’ve got more great news! You don’t have to figure everything out yourself. People have used computer programming to run all of the possible outcomes and odds for every hand you can play at the blackjack table. And the computer has spit out the absolute best play for every situation.
These plays have been collected on a strategy card so you can simply look up the hand you have and the card the dealer has, then do what the card says to do. If you use a card long enough, you’re going to memorize all of the plays so you don’t have to waste time looking at the card.
Using perfect strategy gives you the best chance to win. This is why you always need to use it when you play blackjack.
6 – Counting Cards to Win
The truth is that the main reason why I love blackjack is because I can count cards to get an edge. Most casino games can’t be beat. But blackjack can be beat, and this is how you do it.
Card counting is complicated, but most gamblers can learn how to do it if they’re willing to practice. When you count cards, you bet more when you have an advantage, and this can overcome the regular edge the casino has.
Your first step is to read a few articles about how counting works. Then, get a book or two to learn more and start practicing. If you stick with it, you can start beating the blackjack games.
7 – Seeing a Hole Card
This doesn’t happen in many blackjack games, and if you’re not looking for it, you’re never going to see it. But if you pay attention, sometimes, you can see the value of the dealer’s down card when they deal it.
This isn’t illegal, but you should keep this information to yourself when you see it.
Imagine how much easier it is to decide how to play your hand if you know what the dealer’s face down card is. You know if you need to hit or stand and if you should double down or split.
I love it when I’m playing blackjack and see a hole card.
I love everything about blackjack. The simple math that the entire game is based on helps me understand things as they happen and give me an opportunity to use strategy and advanced techniques to win.
Few things equal the thrill of doubling down on an 11 and getting a face card to beat the dealer and win twice as much as I wagered at the beginning of the hand.
The best thing about blackjack is that you can do all of the same things that I do. You just need to spend some time studying the game and practicing your skills, and you can be a winning blackjack player.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …