Saturday, December 12, 2009

Strategies for Playing Blackjack at the Best 4-6 of 6

Strategy No 4: Understanding Which Tables to Avoid

Just as you are drawn to tables at which "the Christmas Tree Lights are flashing," take care to avoid the obvious losing table where players exhibit few chips, are making single-chip bets, and exude a morose attitude.
You will find more table selection factors in both of my books and all 21 in the TARGET 21 DVD Course.
For further information, read Blackjack’s Winning Factors on Page 73 in Casino Gambling - a description of four important factors that indicate winning activity and, thus, the possibility of your winning in this game.
In my book Blackjack: A Winner's Handbook, on page 158 you will find an interesting idea for playing and winning in a shoe game with an automatic shuffling machine.

Strategy No 5: Approaching the very Basic Strategy

OK, you're in the game, now you've got a decision to make on each and every blackjack hand: hit, stand, double down, split pairs, or take insurance if the dealer shows an ace.
These decisions, giving the players some control over the outcome of their hands, are what make blackjack one of the most exciting and popular casino table games.
There is a mathematically correct way to make each of these decisions; it's called Basic Strategy.
You can learn the basic strategy for playing each hand against any dealer up card in either of my books - Blackjack: A Winner's Handbook and Casino Gambling. Each contain decision tables for hitting your hand, standing, doubling your bet and taking just one more card, and splitting a pair of like cards and playing two hands.
Use the learning drills, memory aids, and practice drills in Blackjack: A Winner's Handbook to learn basic strategy and become a smart player. Basic Strategy reduces the house odds down to about 1% instead of the 5 or 6% you would otherwise confront.

Strategy No 6: Learning About the Insurance Decision

Any time the dealer shows an ace, insurance is offered - you can bet up to half of the bet on your hand that the dealers has the blackjack or the 10-value card as the hole card. If the dealer has the blackjack, you are paid 2-to-1 on your insurance bet with the dealer picking up the losing bet on your hand or giving it back to you for the insurance pay off. If the dealer does not have the blackjack, you lose the insurance bet.
I do not recommend taking insurance unless you have a blackjack, in which case you get paid 1-to-1 either way - if the dealer has a blackjack, you push on your hand and get paid on the insurance bet; if the dealer does not have blackjack, you lose your insurance bet but get paid on your blackjack.
If you wish to make the best percentage play, do not take insurance on the blackjack.

Strategies for Playing Blackjack at the Best 1-3 of 6

Strategy No. 1: Understanding Distractions

When you walk onto the casino floor to begin your gambling session, it is important to keep your perspective. The flashing lights, the cornucopia of colors and the incessant sound of the slot machines mesmerize many gamblers. This is what the casinos want. Don't fall for it. Stay cool and keep a clear head.
Walk around the casino floor for five or 10 minutes before sitting down to play. Mentally review your objectives for this gambling session while you observe the games and the gamblers.

Strategy No 2: Making Best Table Selection
For most gamblers, this is an ad hoc decision. They choose the first table they come to with an open seat or space and which offers a minimum bet they are comfortable with. But the table selection decision is an important factor in your chances of ending up a winner in this session. I recommend reading and studying and using the tips below.
Our TARGET 21 Winning Blackjack Course contains 21 logical factors that point to winning tables. The most important of these is evidence of the players winning like stacks of chips in front of them.
For example if you're evaluating a $5 minimum game for table entry and notice players' chip stacks that appear to exceed the average buy-in of $100, this is a good sign if you estimate the majority of players to exceed the average buy-in.
Another good sign is a majority of players betting more than the table minimum bet. Most players increase their bet when they are winning.
This winning activity may be created by a non-random shuffle, which engenders winning cycles for both the players and the dealer.

Strategy No 3: Strategic Table Entry
Picture yourself sauntering through the blackjack pits casually observing the tables, the players and the chips on the table.
All of a sudden you notice a table with multiple stacks of chips in front of the players, everyone betting in multiple units, players tipping the dealer, the dealer's chip rack with a lot of open space, and the players applauding a dealer breaking hand.
What do you do? Run, do not walk, and grab any open seat at this table. You are probably entering the best of all games - a Dealer-breaking Table!
Although these tables occur infrequently, you should always be on the lookout for them. In normal games, the dealers will break about 28% of the time. In Dealer-breaking tables, I have seen dealers break 50 to 75% of the hands throughout the entire shoe.
These games are called "dumping tables" by casino personnel and for good reason - the dealer is dumping chips to the players!
Perhaps you have experienced the pleasure of playing in "home run" tables like this one. The clue when searching for these winning games is CHIPS: chips in front of the players, in the betting circle, players tipping the dealer, and open space on the Dealer's chip tray.
It is beyond the scope of this report to explain why player winning cycles such as these occur at the blackjack tables, but I can refer you to Chapter 6 in my book Casino Gambling.

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