As you become more comfortable playing Blackjack, you will find yourself making decisions more quickly, and while this is good, it can also lead to “automation”, that is, simply going through the motions of splitting, doubling down and hitting, and not realizing that you are deviating from strategy.
Aside from cruising through, another danger for players is that winning consistently in Blackjack might lead them to believe in luck more than their skill. Don’t let that happen, and the best way to prevent that from taking place is by reviewing the basic facts again.
The fundamental fact of course, is that while the casino has an edge (anywhere from 2 to 2.5%), this can be reduced to 0.5% or even lower (the “fuzz”, as players call it). This is done through the use of Blackjack basic strategy. In case you forget, here are some of the things you should do.
You always hit a hard 16 when the dealer shows a 7. Standing on this number is a common mistake, but if you adhere to the basic strategy, you should always hit when the up card shows the said number. You also hit on a 12 when the up card is 2 or 3.
Also, you always go for the split, when it comes to AAs and 88s and never ever stand on a soft 17. So many new Blackjack players make this mistake owing to their lack of familiarity with the soft and hard hands, but you should never commit that error.
However if you are card counting, your Blackjack strategy may tend to differ because it rests ultimately on how many positive or negative cards are on deck. This may include taking another card when you have a 16 vs. the dealer’s 10, and even taking insurance, if there are several high cards left.
Veteran Blackjack players will never forget these basic moves, but for someone who just learned how to use basic strategy and / or card counting, it is easy to forget during the course of many hours of playing. The trick here is to lengthen your play in increments, as this will give you the opportunity to test how long you can play without overlooking the techniques you just learned.
To someone who doesn’t use Blackjack basic strategy, these tactics, like hitting on a 16, will seem strange. You might get odd looks from players, but that’s okay. By always playing this way, you know you are using optimum strategies, and stand the best chance of profiting.
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