blackjack strategy cards

How Does Using a Blackjack Strategy Card Affect Players’ Thinking?

A lot of articles are available online explaining blackjack strategy.  Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino games and we at Everygame Casino feel that our articles on blackjack and blackjack strategy have contributed to better blackjack play among all online gamers. 

Unfortunately, many other casinos and online gaming sites give you only the most superficial advice on when to hit, when to stand etc.

That’s why we wrote a long series on blackjack strategy.  In this article, we want to go over some of the finer points of good blackjack strategy.

A Perfect Game for Online Gaming

One of the big virtues of online blackjack is that you can play without being harassed by other players.  This is strong language to be sure but at a blackjack table at a land based casino, it is very common for you to be blamed for the other players losing the hand even though you have played your hand perfectly!  That’s because so many blackjack players don’t know the best strategy for every hand and believe that learning the best strategy is hard.

Many players think that using a strategy card is cheating in some way.  Remember, blackjack is not a test in school.  Even land based casinos allow blackjack players to use a strategy card but the other players might find your using a strategy card as the excuse for their losses! So, even though it's allowed, you will rarely see a player actually using the strategy card at a brick-and-mortar establishment.  Whereas, when playing online, there is no problem to use the strategy card.

Flexibility in Betting

At a land based casino, they may have a few blackjack tables but you might find either that they don’t have a table with the minimum bet in keeping with your bankroll or that even if they do have such a table, there are no empty seats there.

This happens most often at the $2 table.  When you play online, you can make many different sized bets always in keeping with your bankroll and you never have to wait for a seat!

The Blackjack Strategy Card

There are many blackjack strategy cards available for every variation of blackjack.  The best strategy cards are so well organized by color and category that with just a short amount of effort you can learn to read the card quickly.

The strategy card points to two very important elements of blackjack.  The first is that strategy in the play of the hand is all from the player’s side.  The dealer has no strategy; she has only rules to follow.

So, players have to learn that the best strategy for their hand is directly related to the card the dealer is showing.  Most strategy cards will have your hand on the left side and the dealer’s up card across the top.  By organizing the cards in this way, the card itself reinforces on every hand that from your perspective as a player, a hand in blackjack is a composite of your holding and the dealer’s holding.

Players who don’t understand this aspect of blackjack almost always stand with twelve or more points out of fear of busting.  These players lose far more than they should lose since hitting with twelve or more points is rather often the best strategy.

The second element in blackjack strategy is that your hand can be divided into categories in which the strategy differs from similar hands in other categories.

For example, if you have a five and a three, you will always hit but if you have two fours, your point card is the same but you might choose to split depending on what the dealer’s up card is.


Learning Best Strategy is Not Hard

The best strategy in blackjack is actually very straightforward.  It may take a good deal of practice to learn exactly how to play every hand but that is why you will use a strategy card: to be able to make the best decisions on every hand.

Using a strategy card is not the same as understanding why some plays are the best plays to make.  Playing almost always precedes understanding but the strategy card will lead you in the direction of understanding.

The beauty of the strategy card is that it can give you the best play and you can make that play even before you fully understand why it is the best play!

Strategy Cards Help You Organize Your Strategic Thinking

The strategy card begins with a section of simple hands.  It continues with “soft hands” which are those with an ace and another card not an ace.  It then has a section on pairs.  By showing you that there are different strategies for every up card the dealer is showing depending on what your hand is, it makes it a lot easier to see the logic behind almost every strategy move.

Some strategy moves are based exclusively on statistics.  The logic is still there but the main impetus for the strategy is statistical.

One Basic Insight from the Strategy Card

In addition to showing you that the dealer’s card may change your strategy based on your hand and that this often does happen, the blackjack strategy card also shows you that your hand is not isolated from the dealer’s hand.  So, the most common definition of blackjack as a card game in which you as the player strive to get as close to 21 points as you can without going over that sum is actually incorrect.

The correct definition of blackjack is that it is a game in which you try to get more points than the dealer.  The dealer may get 17-21 points and be forced by the rules to stop.  In that case, you might beat the dealer, tie her, or lose to a higher point score.

Your strategy is based on the need to beat the dealer to win any money plus the very important detail that the player goes first and loses automatically if he or she goes over 21 points, irregardless of what the dealer may or may not have been dealt.

If you end up with 16 points and the dealer is showing an ace or 7 through 10, your best strategy is to surrender.  The same may be true if you have 14 or 15 points.  The core insight, that only the strategy card can show you in dramatic fashion, is that you don’t have to try to get close to 21 points.  You only need to get more points than the dealer and the dealer always stops with 17-21 points.

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