Tips for playing winning Blackjack

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Blackjack! Ace and Jack make a top hand: 21
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Playing winning Blackjack is not an insurmountable challenge.

Blackjack is a fairly simple game to learn, and offers strong odds compared to many other casino games.

This article assumes a basic understanding of the rules of Blackjack, and offers some tips for playing winning Blackjack.

Tip #1 - Memorize and USE basic Blackjack strategy.

Blackjack is a game of numbers and percentages. Your only goal is to beat the dealerís hand. As such, your goal is to build the strongest possible hand following tried-and-trued Blackjack strategy.

There is no room for hunches. Being on a hot streak doesnít improve your chances of drawing an unlikely card. Unless youíre an extremely experienced player youíre not going to read a good dealerís tells, and unless youíre counting cards you donít know what cards are coming next. If you have trouble remembering Blackjack strategy, strategy cards are easily found for purchase or on the internet.

Tip #2 - Do not let other players rattle you.

Before sitting down to play, scout your table. Are the other players appropriately social or serious to fit your interests? Is the dealer friendly? Are there any players who appear particularly slow or intoxicated?

Once youíve chosen to sit at a table that suits what youíre looking for, stay focused on the task in mind: Beating the dealerís hand. Donít let other players other players distract you from your cards. Donít forget your basic strategy. Donít get upset over another playerís mistakes, as these will not affect you in the long run. And donít get caught in the moment and drink to the point that you can no longer remember your strategy.

Tip # 3 - Donít be afraid to bust.

Often the correct play results in a bust. This is one of the most important tips for playing winning Blackjack. Players who choose to never bust yield an advantage to the house.

Tip # 4 - Donít mimic the dealer.

Many inexperienced players choose to mimic the dealer. This also yields an advantage to the house-- use your double-downs and splits as dictated by basic strategy.

Tip # 5 - Never take insurance.

Insurance is a suckerís bet. The odds are never in your favor here, unless youíre counting cards.

Tip # 6 - Donít play beyond your means.

Whether youíre trying to maximize your profits or just the amount of time you have to enjoy playing cards, itís key to always play within your bankroll. A good rule of thumb is to never sit down at a table with a minimum bet more than 1/20th of your bankroll for that particular session.

Tip # 7 - Stay away from short-pay tables.

Blackjack should pay 3 to 2 on a win. About 10% of tables in Las Vegas now pay less than the full 3 to 2-- avoid these tables. Theyíre not offering Blackjack, theyíre offering 21. There are better options, especially if you follow a solid strategy and pay attention to tips for playing winning Blackjack.

References: Blackjack rules and strategy
Wikipedia: Casino Games

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