Bad Strategies: Know Your Game to Beat the Odds

Mastering the basics is very important to be able to play poker and be successful; if you wish to maximize your ‘edge’ against the house, learning the basic strategy before mastering card counting is imperative. The basic strategy in Blackjack is to know when to stand or when to hit to maximize your chances to be successful against the house. You need to memorize the many combinations between yourself and the dealer, some are obvious and easy others are not so obvious, players need to know how to turn a ‘bad strategy’ into a ‘good strategy’ is the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’.

Insurance against the house

Insurance is one of the options most Blackjack casinos offer to players this make the game more interesting but knowing when to take insurance is vital as the house usually has the edge in its favor. Insurance is taken when the dealer’s face up card is an Ace. The basics of the logic behind insurance are that there are more 10’s in a deck of cards therefore it is more likely that a 21 Blackjack could occur. The way insurance works is players are given the option to place an extra bet before the dealer completes his hand. This is a supplemental bet which is ½ of the original wager, which means if the dealer hits 21 the player will win half of the original bet. This is where people who count cards maintain an edge against the house. If the player does not count cards the odds of the dealer hitting that 10 card is four to thirteen about 30.8% however, there is the 69.8% chance the dealer will not hit twenty one therefore the player has the edge against the house.

When to take insurance

The 69.8% is mathematical proof that it is not always necessary to take insurance. However, if the player is good at counting cards, they then know how many 10’s are left in the deck; this information will give the player the necessary knowledge if the count is higher than 30.8% of getting 21. If the count is on the low side then that means that the dealers chance is also low, and the player does not need to take insurance. Therefore, the only time to use insurance is when the count is high and the dealer has a higher chance of hitting 21.