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Blackjack Overview

Hopefully by now you have read the other sections on this site. I've said it before, and I will say it again. Learn and USE basic strategy, it is the method behind the madness of playing blackjack.

What follows are some tips and strategy's you should use whenever you sit down at a blackjack table. Follow these suggestions and you will find yourself winning more than losing, and thats what its all about; right?

Find The Right Table

When you first walk into a casino you should walk around the blackjack area, observing all the tables. Which tables have players who have smiles on their faces and chips in front of them? Thats a good sign. Which tables are exactly the opposite? Avoid them. What tables contain players that seem to be enjoying themselves? What tables contain friendly and talkative dealers? Although it doesn't make any mathematical sense, I have consistently found that happy players on a table with a friendly dealer are a good sign. Grab yourself a seat. Do you prefer playing one and one against a dealer? Then find yourself a dealer which is not currently dealing to anyone and then simply ask them, "How are you treating people tonight?" You will find more often than not, that a dealer will tell you if he/she has been hot or cold or somewhere in between. Trust me, if a dealer tells you that they have been hot you should avoid them.

Don't Worry About Dumb Players

After you learn basic strategy you will find yourself cringing and possibly getting angry whenever you are on a table where someone splits their 10s or makes some other basic strategy mistake. Don't worry about it. Seriously. Sometimes a fellow player will not hit his 16 against a dealers 10 and you wind up losing on your hand because of it. Other times that same mistake will work in your favor. The thing is, the mathematical nature of basic strategy works for you whether other people are playing the right way or not. I can't tell you how many times I have had a player next to me who refused to hit his/her 16 against a dealers 10. I then hit my 16 and receive a 5. Nuff said.

Never Be Afraid

Never, ever be afraid to take your hits. You have hit your hard 16s two times in a row and lost against a dealers up card of 10? So what? Next time you get a hard 16 against a 10, hit it again. Basic strategy works in the long run. Do not ever abandon it. I often see people afraid to take their hits. They lose in the long run. Here again, Nuff said.

Tip The Dealer When You Are Winning

Besides being a common courtesy, tipping a dealer that is dealing you winning hands can actually help you. Tipping can turn your dealer into an ally who is willing to help you. Help how? Lets say you are distracted and motion for a hit which you really don't want. A dealer who is on your side will always hesitate and ask you if you really want that hit. Other times a dealer may see their hole card. There have been several times when I have been sitting at a table, playing perfect basic strategy. Then I have a card combination which I need to hit. I motion for the hit and the dealer asks, "Are you sure you want to hit sir?" If this ever happens to you don't hit. Since you have been playing basic strategy and since the dealer recognizes this fact, the dealer in this case is telling you that he/she knows what the hole card is and because of that it would be in your best interests not to hit this particular hand. This will not happen very often, but it will occasionally. Take advantage of it.

Think Positively

Although it doesn't make any mathematical sense at all, in any area of life, I have learned one thing over and over again. If you think negatively, bad things will happen to you. Its the same way in blackjack. Thinking positively isn't going to make you an instant winner, but if you keep an emotional balance you won't lose your basic blackjack playing skills. Lets face it, if you think you are going to lose, why the Hell are you playing the game in the first place?

Don't Continue Playing At A Table You Are Losing At

This is just common sense, but many players, when confronted with a losing table, continue to play there, thinking their luck will change. Don't do it. Some dealers are simply hot and they will continue to be so. Don't let them take your money. Get up and move to another table. If you continue to lose at another table the gambling Gods are trying to tell you something. Go home! There will be another day to play blackjack....

Don't Make Side Bets

Some tables you may play on will have available side bets. One such side bet is to wager on whether your first two cards will total 10 or more. Side bets are always created and used by casinos because they are sucker bets which will make the casino money. Don't be suckered into doing this.

Always Practice Money Management

In other words, don't chase after your losing hands. Use the recommended money management systems found on this web site.

Its OK To Play Blackjack Via Internet Based Casinos

Many people are wary of playing blackjack against an Internet based casino. Don't be. I have tried several of these Internet casinos and I have had good luck against all of them. I've gotten paid too. The thing I really like about playing blackjack online is that its just you against the computer that is dealing you the cards. These computers are programmed to deal the cards randomly out of the shoe. Unlike a real dealer it is rare that you will find a 'hot' computer dealer. If you lose a few hands in a row you are almost guaranteed a winner on your next hand. I've also found that more often than not that if you win a hand you will probably be dealt a winner on the next hand. These computer programs seem to reward you for playing basic strategy. I guess that makes sense too. After all, basic strategy was developed by a computer program studying millions of hands of blackjack. You still need to play smart though. When experiencing losing hands lower your wagers, when the tide turns in you favor, bet harder. Be conservative with your bets at first, slowly building your bankroll. Once you get ahead use that extra money to make larger wagers, you'll be surprised how quickly it can add up. But whether you are playing against a human dealer or a computer one, you must learn and use the next tip on this page.

Walk The Walk

Besides basic strategy, this is the MOST important and useful advice you will find here. Walk the walk. What I mean by this is that you must realize that a winning streak on a blackjack table will NOT last forever. So many, many times, I have seen players build up a very nice profit on the table. Then because of greed, or stupidity, they continue to play and they lose all their profits and usually more. You must learn to STOP. Walk away from the table with your profits! Walk the walk. As you are winning on a table set limits for yourself. Say to yourself, 'OK, I'm $200 ahead right now. If I lose my next two hands I'm going to leave with my profit. If I win one of those hands I will continue on until I lose two hands in a row." You MUST do this when playing blackjack. Sure, everyone has dreams of getting on that hot roll and making thousands of dollars. You just might do it sometime if you apply everything you've learned on this web site. However, once you hit a losing streak you have to stop. Walk away. Take your profits, grab some food at the buffet, or at least try another table. The important thing is to walk away a winner! What would you rather do? Tell your friends you were up a thousand dollars and then lost it all, or tell them you were up a thousand dollars but then you hit a losing streak so you walked away with an easy 700 bucks. Think about it. If every blackjack player used basic strategy and played with this kind of disipline the casinos would probably have to stop dealing blackjack. But that will never happen, because there will always be uneducated players throwing their money away on the tables. DON'T be one of them, OK? Follow the basic strategy rules perfectly and walk away when you get ahead. This is the best advice I, or anyone else, can ever give you.