Blackjack – Beat the Dealer

The basic principle of playing casino Blackjack is that you have to beat the dealer. The house has an edge and a good player playing against a good dealer, all else being equal, will lose a little more than they will win over a large number of hands. But statistically, casino players lose far more than they should. The house edge is relatively small but the actual profit margins are in reality far bigger. Let’s take a look at why the majority of Blackjack players perform more poorly than they should against dealers.

The first mistake that players make is to mistake the basic principle of the game as getting as close to 21 as possible. This is not in fact the case. You win the game if you beat the dealer, regardless if your cards add up to 5, 12, 19 or 21.

The dealer statistically has an edge of just 0.6%, which is the lowest house edge of any casino game, yet Blackjack is not less profitable for casinos than other games because the majority of players are focused on getting as close to 21 as possible. The dealer also cannot adapt to circumstances such as taking into consideration the cards which have already been dealt, which can quickly swing the house edge into the negative from the start of the game. The player can always choose what they want to do but the dealer has to stick rigidly to the house rules which dictate how he must play in relation to every possible combination of cards on the table.

Winning without a great hand

How you play should be dictated to by the cards the dealer has rather than your own. In the situation where a player has 13 as a points total almost all less experienced casino Blackjack players will elect to take a further card to try and get as close to possible to 21. Getting a card up to 5 or 6 doesn’t really help you so you are looking for a 7 or an 8, but you have as much chance of getting a 9 or 10 which will lead to you going bust. So you have a 50/50 chance between ending up with a strong hand or going bust. If the dealer has a five house rules will dictate that they must take another two cards. If the first card is high it will still take the dealer up to less than 17 and house rules will again dictate they take another card. So there is a pretty decent chance that the dealer will go bust. Rather than taking the 50/50 chance of getting yourself a high hand, further diluted by the fact the dealer may also get a high hand, you would be statistically better off staying put on 13 and taking the 50/50 chance of the dealer going bust if the first card takes them to 16.