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Blackjack Strategy A Different Twist

Do as the Dealer Does

This blackjack strategy has a deceptive ring of truth. The reasoning goes as follows: “The dealer always takes my money. He doesn’t do any thinking; he just follows the house rules. By following the same house rules, I’ll be on an equal footing with the dealer. With all things being even, the money will really come pouring in..” Unfortunately all things are not even. The logic of this blackjack strategy breaks down when both the dealer and the player bust. Nothing is equal in this case, the dealer always wins when the player busts. A dealer will bust approximately 28.2% of the time. So a player using the same rules as the house will also bust approximately 28.2% of the time. The problem arises when there is a double bust which occurs about 8% of the time. This means that the player has an approximately 8% disadvantage to the dealer when using the house rules to govern their play.

No Bust Strategy

This blackjack strategy has players refusing to take a card if they have a chance at busting. This means that these players never hit a hand valued at 12 or higher. The appeal is apparent. It’s very frustrating to hit your 13 against a dealer’s 7, only to end up busting your hand, and then watch as the dealer proceeds to bust their own hand. Using this strategy falls under the “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” syndrome. Players who use this blackjack strategy know that much of the dealer’s advantage comes from winning double busts, and they submit this strategy as a way to negate that advantage.

However, you give too much away if you never try to improve your hand when you have a chance of busting. Using this approach, you’ll end up with a stiff total about half of the time. When you have a stiff total, your only hope is for the dealer to bust. We know that the dealer only busts about 28.2% of the time. And unfortunately that’s just not enough. It is often beneficial to take the chance of busting as it increases your long-term expectation. By “staying in the game” with the no-bust strategy, you’ll be giving up a house edge that’s been estimated at somewhere between 5% and 8%. With that kind of disadvantage, you and your bankroll won’t be staying in the game for very long.

The Hunch Back

This blackjack strategy unlike the previous blackjack strategies has no rational basis. The previous two strategies while misguided, have at least a pseudo rational basis. However, the “hunch” players rely solely on intuition , a “feeling”, biorhythms or the alignment of the stars. These players feel that they have a sixth sense about what the deal will bring, on how the cards are “running”, without using a card-counting strategy.

As theses players are essentially guessing, they are often wrong in their strategy decisions and amazingly inconsistent. One time they’ll double down on 11 against the dealer’s 7, the next time they won’t. Their ever-evolving approach to beating the game will lead to ever increasing losses. They will smile with satisfaction when their “feeling” is right and curse lady luck when the cards turn on them. We all have these feelings and impressions. We all occasionally think that we know exactly what was going to happen – especially after the fact. But those who indulge these feelings and fight against the “restrictions” of basic strategy are the casino’s best friends. They play by their gut and their money ends up in the casino’s pockets.

Resources: Double Down Chart | Hit and Stand Chart | Splitting Pairs Chart