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HOME > > Proper Blackjack Rules

Proper Blackjack Rules

8 June 2021

By Frank Scoblete

The game of blackjack is the most popular table game in the casino. Twice as many people play blackjack as play craps or roulette which are generally tied for second place. Except for slots, blackjack is king (or queen).

But how many players play blackjack properly? In order to answer that question, you have to know the answer to this question: How many players know the computer derived basic strategy for the play of every player’s hand versus every dealer’s up card?

While I can’t answer that question definitively, I can say from my 30 years of play that many players will play a form of basic strategy, leaving out some critical plays because they “feel” or “don’t think” those plays are the proper ones in a given situation. Feeling or thinking off the cuff is probably the worst way to play blackjack even though a player thinks it feels right.

Sadly, there are many supposed gambling experts who “feel” and “think” they know the correct basic strategy and these folks give the players the absolutely wrong advice. Too many players listen to these experts who give them the wrong way to go in the game and they get lost as in they lose more money than they should.

So, the “almost basic strategy” players are adding to the casinos’ edge at the game; some of them quite a lot too.

[Please note: Here’s a little wrinkle; since there are many different blackjack games with many different numbers of decks and different rules, the computer-designed basic strategy has to be modified for each type of game. But here is a nice “but,” you can play one because the difference among them is not that great. You can also bring a basic strategy card to read.]

What are the common errors that “almost basic strategy players [ABSPlayer]” make?

  • The hand of 16 versus a dealer’s 10-card? The advice is to hit; the ABSPlayer stands.

  • The hand of 12 versus a dealer’s 2? The advice is to hit; the ABSPlayer stands.

  • The hand of 8/8 against all dealer up cards? The advice is to split them; the ABSPlayer will stand against 10-valued cards and aces.

  • The hand of A/A against all dealer up cards? The advice is to split them; the ABSPlayer will stand against 10-valued cards and aces.

  • If a player can split a pair and the casino allows doubling down on splits, the player should double down when basic strategy calls for it. The ABSPlayer will not double down.

  • If the casino allows resplitting then the player should resplit the cards.

There are some others and all of them, played incorrectly, can hurt the player. There is no reason for this. We know from countless millions of runs that the strategies developed by computer are the best. Hey, a computer beat the world champion chess player, I think it can figure out the best strategy for playing today’s blackjack games.

Now, there are some other mistakes players make – even players who play the correct basic strategies – and these can also allow the casino’s edge to keep hammering at the player’s bankroll. Here they are:

  • Players wait for the dealer to shuffle to go to the bathroom when they should go in the middle of the actual set. They will probably get credit for their playing time but not be risking their money.

  • They should play at full or relatively full tables so they play fewer hands. (This does not apply to card counters.) The more hands played the more the house edge gnaws away.

  • Players should be happy if they get a talkative dealer as this will slow the game down.

Follow my advice and that should make your game stronger.

All the best in and out of the casino!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

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 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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