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The Principles of Decision-Making in Blackjack

May 27, 2013

There are two basic ways to learn a new game when it comes to online casinos. The first way is to try to memorize some mathematical strategy that you don't really understand. This usually involves hours and hours of hard work spent memorizing complicated charts that don't really mean anything. The second way is to work on understanding the principles of the game that you're playing. This will allow you to make decisions in the moment based on those principles, and it will also allow you to compensate for changing game conditions. We're going to show you which principles matter when making decisions in blackjack games.

When you're dealt a hand, you have to immediately look at two factors no matter what type of strategy you're using. The first thing you have to look at is whether you have a hard total or a soft total because this will drastically change how you should be playing your hand. The second thing you should take into consideration is the dealer's upcard. The weak dealer upcards are six and below, and the rest are fairly strong cards for the dealer to have. You use this combination of factors to decide how you should play in terms of aggression.

If your opponent has a strong dealer card, you have to play more aggressively because they're more likely to get high totals. However, if your opponent has a weak dealer card, it's often best to hold back because your opponent will have a high chance of going bust. With a soft total, however, these rules go out the window because you have no chance of busting whatsoever. With soft hands against weak dealer cards, you're going to be getting hyper-aggressive with lots of hitting and doubling for obvious reasons.

As an aside, most blackjack games do not make using a card counting system a viable strategy. However, some of them do, and you should take every advantage that you can get. This means learning a basic counting strategy like the Hi-Lo Card Counting System and practicing it to the point that you can keep up with a count like it's second nature. Along with being able to count cards, you should also take other special, atypical rules into consideration like the European no-peek rule or other weird rules that you might find in some of the blackjack games both online and in live casinos.