Everyone in some way has the dream of beating the odds that are stacked against them in Vegas. The idea of “what if” they were the one, lucky person who actually got dealt a royal flush, a black jack, or rolled 7 and 11 at the craps tables is an invigorating one. It’s no different from the fantasies about winning the lottery. However, if you never play you can never win. If you want to figure out how to beat the odds in Vegas though, blackjack is one of the better games that you can choose. Because if you can play the odds, as well as the dealer, there’s a good chance that you can walk out of the casino with more money than you came in with.
First and foremost, blackjack is a very simple game to learn. You’re dealt two cards, one face up and the other face down. You can either “hit”, which is being dealt another face up card, or “stand” which means you don’t want any more cards. You want all of your cards to add up to as close to 21 as possible, with face cards being worth 10 and an ace worth either 11 or 1. If you’re dealt a ten point card with an ace, that’s a black jack, and the one holding it always wins. Simple, right? The hard part is that you have to get your number total higher than the dealer’s, and that’s where chance comes in. But by following some simple guidelines, you can still come out on top.
First of all, if your number total is eleven or less, always take at least one card. There’s no possible way you could go bust, which is over 21. If your hand is between 12 and 16, then it’s time to pay attention to the one card the dealer has face up. That’s the card you should use to gauge what his total might be. If the dealer shows a 7 or lower, then you should be fine with a 12-16 total. If however the dealer’s face up card is higher than that, you should probably hit. If you reach a 17, then you should stand. Most dealer’s are told by the casino to stand at 16 or higher, so a 17 is your goal.
Now let’s talk about “soft” numbers. An ace can be either a 1 or an 11, whichever is more beneficial for the player. Let’s say you were dealt a 6 and an ace, which would bring your best total to a 17. If you drew a card that was more than four in this case (bringing your total over 21), then the ace would revert to a 1. Generally speaking, if you have a soft 17 or higher you should hit. This is a risk free shot at getting a 21, and it’s usually a sound bet.
It’s also important that you play at a table that uses only a single deck of cards. Try to avoid players who appear to take a lot of risks, as that makes your competition unreliable. Most important though, play consistently and you should come through a winner.