Blackjack strategy is complex. It requires gamblers to know how to handle hundreds of decisions based on their total and the dealer’s up card.
Luckily, studying blackjack strategy isn’t so daunting. One can easily learn how to make the best decision in each situation just by looking at a strategy chart.
Blackjack trainers offer another simple path towards learning optimal strategy. These programs point out incorrect strategy decisions.
Both blackjack strategy charts and trainers are completely free. Players can also find them with a quick Google search.
Everybody should seemingly be adept at blackjack when considering the widespread availability of strategy. However, many players are clueless on the matter.
Why don’t some gamblers bother improving their blackjack skills? I’ll discuss several reasons why this is the case below.
Don’t Feel Like Learning
Many blackjack players are lazy. They dismiss strategy as something that only serious players have time to learn.
However, the same players could quickly boost their skills with little time wasted. Here are some simple ways that they could improve:
- Look over a strategy chart for five minutes before every blackjack session.
- Practice with online blackjack for 20 minutes while referring to the chart for each decision.
- Pull up a strategy chart on a smartphone and occasionally refer to it at land-based tables.
Nothing compels gamblers to learn strategy before playing blackjack games. However, one can easily improve their skills without much effort.
Complete Belief in Luck
The internet has changed the world in many ways. Anybody with a smartphone now has access to more information than Bill Clinton did during his presidency.
Thanks to this explosion of information, many gamblers realize that rabbit’s foots and lucky shirts won’t change their odds. Nevertheless, some blackjack players still rely on trinkets and charms over sound strategy.
The same players may play based on feeling. If they have a hunch that a 6 is coming, they’ll hit on 15 even when the dealer shows 5.
Blackjack is a random game (minus card counting) that features verifiable odds. Luck and hunches won’t beat this game.
Misconceptions About Blackjack Strategy
Blackjack strategy may seem complicated. Again, though, anybody can quickly learn how to play optimally through charts and trainers.
However, some gamblers don’t realize the simplicity involved with learning strategy. They may believe that becoming a proficient player involves spending hours pouring over articles and software.
This game’s strategy indeed seems intimidating based on all of the different scenarios.
These are the types of situations that confuse the average player. However, gamblers can easily sort through them after spending time with trainers and/or charts.
The gambler’s fallacy is heavily prevalent in blackjack. This term refers to the idea that past results can dictate future outcomes.
Players who operate based on the gambler’s fallacy use previous results to guide their bets. They often wager more when they think that they’re due for a win.
Here’s an example:
- Player loses three bets in a row.
- They feel that they’re destined to win the next hand based on their losing streak.
- They triple their next wager from $10 to $30.
The odds of winning a blackjack hand are approximately 43%. Therefore, it’s logical to think that a losing streak indicates an impending win.
But outside of card counting, blackjack is a fixed-odds game. It provides the same 43% chance of winning regardless of what has happened in the past.
The player from the example could lose another three consecutive hands on top of their current losing streak. They’ve only upped the risk by tripling their next bet.
The key thing to remember with trend betting is that every result is independent of the last. Blackjack card counting is the only way to change this.
Rely On Betting Systems
A betting strategy is a systematic approach to gambling. It calls on one to bet in a specific manner to increase profits and, in some cases, win back losses.
The Martingale system is very common in blackjack. This strategy requires doubling bets following every loss.
Here’s an example of the Martingale in action:
- $10 bet loses (bankroll at -10).
- $20 bet loses (bankroll at -30).
- $40 bet loses (bankroll at -70).
- $80 bet wins (bankroll at +10).
- Restart at $10 wager.
This negative-progression system is popular for the fact that it helps win back losses quickly. However, it also forces gamblers to assume tremendous risk.
Many players opt for positive-progression strategies to avoid taking on so much risk. Such systems only require one to increase wagers during winning streaks.
The Paroli system, for instance, requires gamblers to double bets following every win. The goal is to reach three consecutive wins before starting over.
Here’s an example:
- $10 bet wins (bankroll at +10)
- $20 bet wins (bankroll at +30)
- $40 bet wins (bankroll at +40)
- Restart at $10 wager.
Betting systems sound like a good idea in theory. They can accelerate hot streaks and earn back losses in the short run.
But these strategies don’t overcome the house edge. Therefore, they won’t work any better than flat betting in the long run.
Unfortunately, some blackjack players who use systems feel like they’ve found the golden ticket. They might also forsake conventional strategy.
Again, using casino betting systems aren’t a guaranteed way to make profits. Conventional strategy will get players much further than any system.
Only Playing with Friends
Some people aren’t gambling enthusiasts. However, they’re willing to visit the casino for a social outing with friends.
They may also be willing to play blackjack if their friends do. After all, who wants to stand off to the side of a table while their buddies gamble?
People who only play blackjack because their friends do won’t be motivated to study strategy. They may even have little knowledge of the rules and believe that blackjack is only based on luck.
These players should definitely master the basic rules before worrying about strategy. Once they get the rules down, though, they won’t have much difficulty picking up strategy either.
Playing for Progressive Jackpots
Some blackjack tables feature progressive jackpots. The jackpots grow with each wager and can reach large proportions.
Progressive blackjack plays much like the standard game. The only difference is that players must make an optional side bet if they want to qualify for a jackpot.
The side bet can result in multiple payouts, including the jackpot. For example, it might result in a payout for three aces (including the dealer’s upcard). Many progressive tables award 10% of the jackpot for a certain hand and 100% for an even rarer hand.
In any case, those who pursue jackpots may not be interested in strategy. Instead, they just want to enjoy blackjack with a huge payout on the side.
Of course, the progressive variation features the same strategy as the regular version—only with a jackpot involved. Those who love this game can still benefit greatly by learning basic tips or more.
Those who fail to learn blackjack strategy diminish their chances of winning. They’re instead relying on luck to win.
Unfortunately, many gamblers continue going down this road all the time. They dismiss the idea of learning strategy for one or more reasons.
The biggest roadblock to studying strategy is pure laziness. Some people don’t think that it’s worth the time to improve when they could instead be playing.
These same gamblers may believe that learning blackjack strategy takes too much time. They’re intimidated by what’s seemingly a complex matter.
In reality, blackjack strategy isn’t difficult to figure out. It can be as easy as referring to a chart for every move.
Of course, land-based casinos frown upon those who stare at their chart during each decision. In these cases, one can practice with a blackjack trainer and learn optimal decisions through pattern recognition.
Blackjack strategy and its accompanying tools are readily available. Players only need to make a small effort to grind these resources and begin learning.