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Does blackjack have the “best” odds for the player?

Yes! Actually, it depends on the rules of the game and the skill of the player. A single deck game with Las Vegas Strip rules and double after splitting allowed actually gives the player a +0.1% advantage. This assumes, of course, that the player uses the “correct” basic strategy. [Issue 4.2] *


  1. What is meant by the term “Las Vegas rules”?

This term is often used to compare games with one another. It refers to a game that is typical of Downtown Las Vegas – double down allowed on any initial two cards, dealer hits soft-17, resplits and insurance allowed. Las Vegas “Strip” rules improve the player’s odds slightly requiring the dealer to stand on all 17s. [Issue 4.3]


Basic Strategy – Multideck / No DAS3. What is the “correct” basic strategy for blackjack?

There is only one “correct” basic strategy for this game given a set of established rules. However, since all casinos don’t offer the same rules the basic strategy can be slightly different from game to game. Also, the number of decks used affects the basic strategy slightly. Peter Griffin’s Theory of Blackjack and Stanford Wong’s Basic Blackjack are the player’s best resources for the “correct” basic strategy for any number of decks and rules. Basic strategy charts can also be found in my book Blackjack: A Professional Reference and in the online Encyclopedia of Casino Twenty-One at . [Issue 4.4]


The card shown on the right reflects a correct basic strategy for multi-deck games with double after splits not allowed.


  1. Do other players affect your long term expectation?

No! You should ignore how other players play. Simply put, a bad player’s action will “help” you just as often as “hurt” you in this game. [Issue 5.1]


Blackjack Layout5. When would I ever want to take insurance (or even money)?

A basic strategy player should never take insurance. Only a card counter knows when this bet is profitable. If you are dealt a blackjack and the dealer shows an “Ace” simply reply “No, I’ll take my chances!”, when you are asked if you would like “even money”. You are better off winning 3 to 2 most of the time than winning even money for sure. [Issue 5.2]


  1. What is the worst common play in blackjack?

Ignoring abnormal plays such as hitting a 19 or 20 the worst play, expectation wise, is standing on 88 versus 7, rather than splitting them! You will lose about 70 cents on the dollar each time you make this play. If you stick to basic strategy you won’t have to worry about questions like this! [Issue 5.3]


  1. Are single-deck games better than multi-deck games?

Yes and No! A multi-deck game has an inherent 0.5% – 0.6% disadvantage over a single deck game with the same rules. Much of this difference is due to the effect of removal of cards (i.e., removing one card in single deck has a big effect, whereas its removal in a shoe game is negligible). On the other hand, it is much easier to find good Togel rules and conditions in shoe games. The bottom line is that although single- and double-deck games are inherently better than shoe games they are also easier to manipulate in the casino’s behalf. [Issue 5.4]


  1. If blackjack is really “beatable” then why aren’t you out there making millions of dollars instead of writing about it?


The fact that a game is beatable does not imply that someone can get rich at it. If you look at blackjack as an investment opportunity you have three factors to consider – Knowledge and skill, Bankroll, and Risk. All of these factors must be considered before you place your first bet. The bottom line is that a highly skilled player with a small bankroll (e.g., $1000) can only hope to make a few dollars per hour playing this game or run the risk of financial ruin. [Issue 6.1]


  1. How much money can I expect to win if I count cards?

To be perfectly honest, you stand a fair chance of losing money in this game! It all depends on your skill level, bankroll, the level of risk you are willing to take, and the quality of games you play. Assuming you balance all of these factors, the theoretical long-run advantage a skilled card counter can obtain is between 0.5% and 1.5%. This is not to say a player can not have a greater advantage on any individual bet or circumstance, however, in the long run a player can expect to win about 1% of the total sum of his “action”. Therefore, if your average bet is about $25 and you play 75 hands an hour you might expect to make about $19 an hour. But be forewarned… your mileage will vary! [Issue 6.2]


  1. Isn’t card counting illegal?

No! It’s no more illegal than using your brain to add up how much money you have left in your wallet! [Issue 6.3]


  1. What is the “best” card counting system?
  2. What are the top play variations that yield the greatest gain for card counters?


  1. If blackjack can be beaten why do casinos still offer the game?


  1. Is card counting the only way to beat this game?


  1. What are the most important factors in evaluating a blackjack game?


  1. What are the “best” blackjack books ever written?


  1. I want to learn how to win at blackjack. What should I do first?


  1. Where are the “best” blackjack games in the country?


  1. Do casinos still bar card counters?


  1. Should I be concerned about cheating?


  1. What is the “secret” to winning?



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