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Blackjack : Will blackjack amateurs ever learn?

By Daniel Michaels

Level: Jun 25th 2007
Let's say you are at the blackjack table, in a shoe game or a double deck one and you are dealt a 6 and a 2. The dealer's faced up card is a 6. How are you going to play? Are you going to double down?

Most players wouldn’t double down in this situation and they make the right choice. Now let’s say you are dealt two 4s and the dealer has the same 6. What would you do now?

Would you double down? If yes, why did you made that choice? Maybe you would say the dealer’s up card is weak and that is correct, and since he has a weak card you could try to make some extra money; correct once again.

Since you will make more money you decided to double down, and this is where you would be wrong. If you would double down with 4/4 why wouldn’t you double down with 6/2?

There isn't a card that can help the 4/4 and can't help the 6/2. Remember this; every time you have a total of 10 or 11 and can't hit, don't double down. Of course the amateurs would make the exact opposite decisions in this situation.

There are some amateurs blackjack players who use poor logic to make the decisions and because of this they lose a lot of money. These players are called “ploppies”, and you are one of them if you think it’s a good decision to double down with 4/4 against the dealer's 5 or 6.

You should split when the dealer has a 5 or 6 and you have 4/4, because most of the times you will be dealt a 5, 6, 7 or Ace for the 4. If you receive one of those cards, then you should double down and by doing so you will use the full potential of the situation.

You should never split the 4/4 when the dealer has a 4 or a 3 because his hand is too strong. I have another question for these "experts": have you ever thought about the soft double downs? This is when you have an Ace with another card and the dealer has a small up card.

You should know that the lower your soft hand is, the less likely it is you should double. And here is the reason why: let's say you have A/2 and the dealer has a 3. Most ploppies would double this hand but that is just plain wrong, because if an Ace, 2, 3, 4 or 9 comes you can’t hit again.

If a 10, Jack, Queen or King would come you are stuck at 13 and in this situation the dealer will win 63% of the time. There are some exceptions, if a 5, 6, 7 or 8 would come then you made a great decision, but this risk is too big to take.

The lower the soft hand is the more you limit yourself to making a single hit. The dealer must have a 5 or 6 if you want to double down, in order for you to have higher chances of winning. You should double down against 4, 5 or 6 only when you have A/4 or A/5 and against 3, 4, 5 or 6 when you have Ace/6 or Ace/7.
Lesson 1: Blackjack History
Where was the game born? And who named it BlackJack?
Lesson 2: Blackjack Rules
All you need to know before getting started.
Lesson 3: Blackjack Strategy
The many strategies to get a winning edge over the casino, besides getting "Rain Man" to play for you of course!
Lesson 4: Blackjack Vocabulary
Speak like a pro. Talk the talk, the walk is up to you!
Lesson 5: Blackjack Tips
What you should keep in mind, and even a little more on strategy.

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