For the geeks out there, there is a great way to enjoy games of skill on the go. I started plying skill-based card games at an early age, and my passion for these games continued throughout my college years. But it wasn’t until a chance encounter with a mathematics major that I decided to seriously look at one game in particular: blackjack. Most of my buddies were Texas Hold’em players, and while I enjoy that game tremendously, blackjack is really a game that I feel complements my personality and playing style a lot more. For starters, blackjack is not about you and the guy or gal next to you and everyone else sitting around the table; it’s about a rapid-fire battle of attrition between you and the dealer. Now, don’t get me wrong – Texas Hold’em is definitely a game that geeks enjoy – just look at the winners of the WSOP (World Series of Poker) and most of those fellows are as geeky as my crew. Just goes to show that brains and not brawn wins the big-money pots in casino card games!
So, back to my story – how did I develop an affinity for blackjack? Let me put it this way: With no strategy in mind, your blackjack games are like coin tosses. You win some, you lose some. I’m not happy with 50-50 odds because a blackjack player who has no strategic mindset is never going to enjoy 50-50 odds anyway – he or she is going to lose big time. So, I decided to geek up my game with a hot new mobile gaming app from my favorite online casino, and saturate my brain with as much blackjack gobbledygook as I could absorb. Now it’s not all malarkey – a lot of it makes perfect sense and when you crunch the numbers, these tactics and strategies certainly pay dividends. Fortunately, my girlfriend is equally passionate about blackjack and we bounce playing strategies off one another all the time. If you enjoyed the movie 21, then you know exactly why blackjack is such an enticing and immersive experience for players. Anything that I perceive as giving me a slight advantage or edge as they say in gambling parlance, is perfect for me. When I played games of poker, I found strategy to be my most lethal weapon against casual players and intermediate-level players. With that in mind, I took to blackjack strategy like a duck to water. I’d like to share a few of the most geekylicious strategic tips with you about how to get the most leverage out of blackjack strategy. Bear with me a couple moments and I’m telling you you will learn something useful from this little blackjack expose!
Before we continue, there are a couple things you should know about blackjack strategy:
- Card counting is an effective formula for ascertaining the likelihood of certain cards coming up in a game of blackjack.
- Anyone can learn blackjack strategy – you don’t need to be as smart as a whip, as cool as a cucumber, or as geeky as me!
- You can practice blackjack strategy online for free before you play for real with the skills that you have acquired.
- Did I mention that blackjack strategy really works?
Now that you know a few irrefutable facts, let’s see how blackjack strategy can be put to good use!
Let us consider all the possible playing cards in any individual suit: Ace, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, Jack, Queen and King. Jokers don’t count, unless you’re talking about the guy or gal sitting next to you!
Now to understand card counting and count values you need to separate cards into different groups: +1 value cards, 0 value cards, and -1 value cards. For the purposes of convenience, card counting experts have already invented this wheel so we don’t have to. Cards valued at 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are valued at a count of +1. Cards that are valued at 7, 8 and 9 are valued at 0, and cards from 10 through Ace are valued at -1. But what do these numbers mean? And how do you keep a running count with each of these values in mind? Well, for every low-value card that is dealt you add a count value of +1 to the tally, and for every high-value card that is dealt you subtract a value of -1 from the tally. Are you starting to get the picture yet? Let’s assume that the running count is +4. What does this tell you? Does it tell you that the likelihood of another low-value card is high or low? Or conversely, does it tell you that the likelihood of a high-value card coming up next is high or low?
The concept of a running count is so important in blackjack that it is almost the holy writ among blackjack players. The greater the positive value, the less likely a low value card is to come up because there simply are less of them in the deck! By contrast the more negative the running count, the less likely a high-value card is to come up because there are simply less of them in the deck. By using a positive or negative count, you can make smart estimations about the likelihood of certain numbers coming up. But don’t forget that Blackjack is all about fun too – if you fudge a few numbers in the count, that’s totally okay. Hopefully you’ve got a taste of how much fun Blackjack really is. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ll go and power up my iPhone 6 and get back to some hardcore strategizing!