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With blackjack – discipline is everything

16 May 2013

If you’re a regular blackjack player, you will probably already know that when it comes to blackjack, discipline really is everything.

The trouble is that so many of us are influenced by our moods at any given point in time; it’s what makes us human after all. But it is rarely helpful in blackjack – and if it ever is, this is down to luck only; “instinct” doesn’t really exist at this game – it just feels like it does when it comes off.

If you ask yourself the question; ‘when is betting not gambling?’ the answer is when the balance of probabilities are weighted in your favour.

And this isn’t the case with blackjack unless you have the ability to count cards. But even then, you must still adhere strictly to a strategy that balances the probabilities in your favour and this calls for self-discipline and a keen mathematical brain. For the rest of us mere mortals, there simply are no steady winning strategies over a long period of time. The laws of probability state that we will lose out to the house edge if we play on long enough.

But there are three things worth bearing in mind here:

Firstly, it isn’t all about statistical probabilities; playing blackjack is simply fun and that’s why we all do it. Fort many of us, a harmless gamble with money we can afford to lose is the spice of life, and we do win big sometimes; that’s the fun part.

Secondly, the house edge is lower in blackjack than anywhere else. Probability-wise, it’s lower in roulette, but of course roulette is purely down to chance whereas blackjack involves an element of judgement and strategy.

Thirdly – and perhaps most importantly – the popularity of online blackjack and the fierce competition within the industry means you can stack the odds firmly in your favour by taking advantage of the special introductory bonus offers around. And some of these really are substantial. The Betfair Casino sign up bonus, for example, varies according to the size of your initial deposit, but suffice to say you can be playing with the house’s money for a long time if you play your cards right – and the way to do that is to stick to your overall strategy.

The strategy itself is down to your individual preferences. There are charts available online which are often depicted in a combined way showing how to play “hard" hands or "soft" hands, based on the probable outcome of the banker's hand, taking into account your cards and the dealer’s card showing. These can stack the odds more favourably which – when combined with the bonuses – really do give you a fighting chance of beating the house.

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Mitch Hedberg
I like to play blackjack. I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle