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HOME > Gaming > The do's and don'ts of blackjack

The do's and don'ts of blackjack

13 May 2014

By Frank Scoblete

[The advice offered here is not for card counters.]

DO get a “basic strategy” card which tells you what to do with your hand against every dealer up card. You can bring this card to the table with you and you’ll play a very tight game with the casino. The house edge? It will be somewhere around a half percent or an expected loss of 50 cents per $100 wagered.

DON’T buy into the superstitions of blackjack players who think that if someone at the table plays a hand incorrectly it will change the order of the cards and start everyone losing if everyone has been winning. No one knows the order of the cards or whether the decision a player makes will win the players more money or less money.

DO realize that many blackjack players will feel free to offer you their “expert” advice from years of playing -- and losing. Stick to the basic “strategy card” which was developed by a computer and except for card counting is the best way to play the game.

DON’T listen to Internet experts who tell you to make moves not based on “basic strategy.” These individuals seem to think that math has no bearing on the game and that only the casinos have to think in terms of math. Math is the essence of all casino games.

DO tip the dealers every so often, as dealers need tips to survive.

DON’T follow anyone’s advice to not split a pair of aces and a pair of eights. You will save yourself a lot of money by splitting these pairs.

DO double down your 10 against a dealer’s 2 through 9. Double down your 11 against the dealer’s 2 through 10.

DON’T use progressive betting as a means to win loads of money. Most times progressive bettors will blow their wins by increasing their bets and losing them. Stick to low denominations and don’t get greedy.

DO respect the other players’ right to make whatever decisions they want on how to play their hands. It’s their money to bet as they like and make whatever decisions they want to make.

DON’T take insurance against a dealer’s ace. You’ll be wasting your money if you do. Do not take “even money” if you have a blackjack against the dealer’s ace. These side bets are for suckers.

DO play at tables with other players. It’s best to have a full table so that you play fewer hands. Even though blackjack has a low house edge, the more decisions you face the more that small edge will cut away at your bankroll.

DON’T take “real” money to the casinos. Set up a 401G bank account for your gambling money and only use that money to play with. The “G” in 401G stands for gambling.

DO buy my new tell-all book “I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack.” It has a no-holds barred description of my wife and my quarter century of going up against the casinos as a card-counting team. Some of our adventures were harrowing.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete
Frank  Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in AmericaFrank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books include Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! and Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players.

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