When I was young, my father taught me that a well-executed strategy can get you through anything in life. We played chess, Risk, Monopoly and anything else that involved decisive thinking.
Growing up I applied this rule to sports, exercising and school.
And when I got old enough, I took my thought process to the casino. And played BlackJack.
Traditional BlackJack is a simple game where you try to get a higher number than the dealer without going over the number 21. Both of your cards are shown while the dealer’s hand only shows the first card drawn. If you have 21, you win instantly. If the dealer has 21, the whole table loses.
So you’re at a legal age, you got some money and you feel good.
Everything has rules, or laws, that you must take into consideration. BlackJack is no different. These are a few you need to know before picking up your first hand.
The first is that everyone on the table is on your team. Collectively, you are trying to beat the “bank”, who takes form as a dealer. That means you don’t play on your own, but for the benefit of the community. One move to push a stronger win for yourself could be perilous for the table. That means sometimes you will have to take a card hen you know that you will most likely bust. Try to keep in mind that a table full of consciously-thinking minds has a stronger probability of taking home a winning versus the casino.
Another basic rule is that you must assume the dealer’s hidden card has a value of 10.
A typical casino table plays with eight decks. So four 10’s, queens, jacks and kings. Therefore, you should assume that if you don’t have a card with that value then one should be coming soon.
Knowing this, remember that 16 is the worst hand you can pull, and the best bet to play against. We look at 16 as the biggest bust card, which means it is the most common to lose. Consider that the dealer has to take more cards until they reach 17, and how any big number can take the dealer out of the game. This should provide you with information on your next move and whether you should draw for a win or feed the bank some poison.
Understanding the unsaid rules of BlackJack doesn’t make you an exceptional player, however. They just make you strategic. There is a lot more to learn, some rules vary at different tables and a good deck does play its part.
In BlackJack and in life, you play the hand you’re dealt. A good plan, on and off the table, can help you win and remind you to leave at the right time. So play accordingly