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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Black Jack Odds

Blackjack is one of the few casino games which you can affect the odds through sound playing. With foolish play, you can screw up in most any game of chance. But the decisions you make in games like craps and roulette don't necessarily change the odds. In blackjack, you decide when to hit or when to stand, as well as how much to bet and when, so you have control over thehouse edge.

Quite simply, your odds will not be the same as the poor sap standing next to you.You will often hear the words "basic strategy" when you read about blackjack. This is an important term to take note of...and an important guide to follow. When you follow basic strategy, you follow where the hard science of mathematics points. Following basic strategy, the house edge can shrink to 0.5%.

Reckless players will see the house edge notch up to somewhere between 3% to 5%. That means they are wasting the opportunities they have to win atblackjack.

Keep in mind several things when considering blackjack odds and basic strategy. First, keep in mind the number of decks being used, as well as whether the dealer hits on a Soft-17. Basically, the fewer decks, the easier it is to tell which card might next come up. Also, dealers who stand on the Soft-17 are better for you.Second, figure out the rules on doubling down. Do not play at a table where doubling down is not allowed. Double anytime the charts call for it. Find out whether you can double on a split, or whether you can surrender.

You want to have these options, which help your payout odds.Third, remember to keep a handle on your bankroll. If you win early, pocket most of your winnings. That way, you either walk out with big winnings, or have minimal losses. If you lose early, make it a hard-and-fast rule that you don¹t bet again when you get past your limit.Generally, it is wise not to double bets when you are on a losing streak.

This might not be conventionally sound, but it keeps you from doubling your bets to recover from your losses quickly. It is when you aren¹t thinking clearly that you can hurt yourself in a casino.

Be sure to read our review of Party Poker.

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