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.