Blackjack Tips

Try to Play Head-To-Head Whenever Possible

There are a couple of good reasons to do this.

1. First of all, you won't be playing with poor players who take away good cards from you by inappropriate splitting of 10s and other weird moves. This way you can avoid getting steamed by some stupid move that costs you a winning hand.

2. Secondly, and more importantly, you get many more hands per hour. Playing head-to-head with a dealer is playing three times as fast as with one or two other players at the table. And the more hands you play, the more you should win theoretically.

3. Thirdly, it gives you a chance to handle the dealer better. You can establish a rapport that makes him willing to help you out, even unconsciously. You are the friendly one there alone with him. There aren't two losers complaining and moaning about their lousy cards while they destroy any chance they have of winning with bad plays.

4. Finally, you will see more cards in any deck. In many casinos, the dealers are instructed to deal only two rounds in a single-deck game with a full table, or a table almost full. Then three rounds with three or four players. But with only one player, often they are using their discretion. If you treat the dealer like a human being, if you toke him appropriately, and establish a rapport, he may penetrate that deck real deeply and give you some situations that you'd never get with other players at the table.

Don't Always Sit Through a Terrible Deck

I have a few moves that have saved me money and grief. One of them is to stay out of hands where I know the dealer is going to deal three more rounds of cards when the deck is terrible. Let's say I'm at a single deck table with two other players. It's a $25 table and my neutral bet on the first round was whisked away by the dealer as he turned up a blackjack. I had a 20, another player had a blackjack that he didn't have a chance to insure because the dealer showed a 10 as his upcard. And the third player had an Ace-9.

Let's further assume that this dealer gives us good penetration for the money. He goes way down into the deck. And that's what I'm facing. Three more rounds of nothing but trouble coming up. Already the deck -4 and three aces are out.

I ask where the men's room is, and leave the table. Or else I suddenly have trouble with my eye, and get up and take out a handkerchief and leave the table as I poke around the corner of my eye. I do something just to avoid three rounds of a really negative deck.

If Possible, Don't Be the Biggest Bettor at the Table

This is good advice, but you can't always follow it. You may find yourself at a table with people who are cautious and bet only one or two units and that's it. The problem here is that if you start moving your bets up as the count gets strong, it'll be you the casino bosses will be looking at. Therefore, try and sit at a table with big bettors. This isn't hard to do. I find that big bettors scare off other players, who are afraid of getting dirty looks from them if they make a bad or wrong play. But you need not concern yourself about that, knowing basic strategy and counting, you'll be making all the right moves.

I like to sit at a $25 table if there's only one player betting several hundred bucks a hand. This way I can sit to his left and be dealt the last cards on the round and make the last plays. My $50 neutral bet won't even be looked at. The floorman is watching the big guy with his black $100 chips. I can do what I want. Sometimes, in this situation, I really raise the limits of my bets. If the deck is super-favorable at a single deck game, I may get in there with eight or ten units. I do this because my bet is usually insignificant to the other player's bet and even if I match him once in a while, they're still watching him.

Of course, if I make a couple of monster bets and win, and eyes turn my way, I taper down by bets, and let the heat move back to the big player.