February 15, 2022 by

Let’s Take a Fresh Look at Blackjack

On the home page at Slots Play Casinos, we have a series of guides one of which is for blackjack. So, why are we writing another article about the game?  Well, we feel that it is always possible to expand and enhance what has already been written and published.

We would like to try to talk logically about blackjack from a different perspective than the one in the blackjack guide which we still feel is among the best blackjack guides anywhere!

The Casino Owes Gamers Compensation in Return for the Casino’s Big Advantage

The big advantage casinos have over blackjack players is that the casino, as the dealer, plays last.  In an online game with one gamer and one dealer, the ramifications of this advantage may be less obvious.  In a blackjack game at a land-based casino, where there may be seven players at the table, the advantage of going last, meaning the dealer not the last player, is evident on almost every hand.

At a land-based casino, everyone sees all the players’ hands play out.  So, if a player busts with 22 points he or she loses immediately regardless of what happens when the dealer plays.  The dealer might bust with 26 points!  That would be drawing a 10-point card while being forced by the rules to take a card with 16 points.

What Kind of Compensation Should the Casino Give Players?

  1. The casino must pay 3-2 for blackjack.  Far too many casinos, mostly land-based casinos, pay 6-5 which seems minor but in fact gives the house an overwhelming advantage.
  2. The casino must allow players to split any pair.
  3. The casino must allow players to re-split if they get the same card again.
  4. The casino must allow players to double down on any point count.
  5. The casino must allow surrender.
  6. The casino should force the dealer to stand with soft 17.

Can Players Overcome the Disadvantage by Using Top Strategy?

Yes, they can!

With top strategy, the return to player rate is very close to 100%.  By adding in all of the aforementioned “compensations” gamers can expect to at least break even in most blackjack sessions and to win a little quite often.

Is Blackjack Strategy Straightforward?

Blackjack strategy is quite straightforward but that doesn’t make it easy to learn.  The player has to first evacuate her or his hand and then compare it to the dealer’s single up card.

So, strategy charts have a row of players’ hands and a column comparing them to the dealer’s card.

Strategy cards are based on computer analysis of millions of hands so we advise all blackjack players to trust the statistics even if it seems counter-intuitive.

Does Card Counting Help?

This is a very pertinent question!

First, when we listed “compensations” we didn’t list that a casino must allow players to count cards.  Simply put, land-based casinos know that card counting, when done with great skill, puts the player at an advantage.  Card counters are routinely asked to leave land-based casinos.

However, card counting is best used in single deck games which almost no longer exist at land-based casinos.  There are card counters who use it in two deck or even six deck games and the casinos don’t like that either!

So, is Card Counting Out?

Not exactly!

At an online casino, you might be able to play multi-hand blackjack.  This gives you some chance to count cards for each individual hand.  Better still, at a land-based casino, you might be able to find a full blackjack table and also be able to sit to the dealer’s immediate right which means that you are the last player to play before the dealer plays.

When it comes to playing blackjack at a land-based casino, we might say that it is best if you do exactly this: play at a full table to the dealer’s right.

Keep in mind that all of the other “compensations” when taken together, make up for the fact that it will be very difficult to gain an advantage by counting cards.

Learn Everything You Can about Strategy for Splitting and Doubling Down

If a casino allows splitting aces only once, don’t play blackjack there!  This rule takes away a big advantage players have!  If a casino allows splitting only once with any pair, don’t play there!  If the casino doesn’t allow doubling down after splitting, don’t play there!

In addition, never play blackjack at a 6-5 table.  Try to find a blackjack game that allows surrender.  This works tremendously in the player’s favor!  If you are playing at a land-based casino and one or more of the other players start to blame you for their losses even though you are playing with the best strategy, leave the table!

Sometimes not playing is the best strategy.  We learned that in the classic movie War Games!

Blackjack is a Very Rewarding Game of Skill

We all know by now that playing games of skill sharpens our minds.  Clearly, casino games of skill are not the only games of skill out there!  We are talking about intellectual games of skill like chess rather than eye-hand co-ordination games of skill.

Eye-hand co-ordination games of skill are good for honing one’s athleticism while intellectual games of skill are great for honing one’s business skill which involves creativity from developing a business idea to success at negotiations.

Guard Your Compensations Jealously

Given that blackjack is a rewarding game of skill, it follows that we should play blackjack with as many of the advantages or compensations that some casinos allow in some blackjack variations.  Blackjack is a lot less rewarding when players “give away” too many compensations.

It is hard enough to go first on every hand.  We should be diligent about not exacerbating that very profound disadvantage!

Make it a Point to Learn the Strategy Charts

Having said all this, we will finish with a word about learning the strategy charts and using them with confidence.  Some blackjack players just use the charts without fulling understanding the logic and statistics behind each decision.

If we want blackjack to be the most rewarding game of skill, we need to fully understand the strategy behind each decision we make!  The mental and intellectual reward we acquire when we play a game of skill at the highest possible level is invaluable!

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We feel that it is our mission to help casino players get the most satisfaction out of playing casino games.  We generally recommend playing at an online casino, of which we have reviewed about two dozen such excellent casinos, but we also recognize the attraction of land-based casino gaming for some players.

Please come to SLOTS PLAY CASINOS often for the best information about casino gaming!

David is our amateur economist and political philosopher, weather enthusiast, killer Sudoku fan, and best darn game analyst we've found.

In the twenty or so years since graduating college David has completely changed his gaming practices. Where once he played mostly video games with the occasional swing at blackjack at land-based casinos, David switched course and became a regular Sudoku player. David says that he likes the intellectual challenge of solving difficult problems.

Since he began playing Sudoku in earnest, ... [Read David Connor full bio]