Is Blackjack a Game of Skill or Luck?
Simply put, blackjack is both a game of skill and chance. But, many believe that the former is more critical to winning. Blackjack is a card game that uses a standard 52 deck of cards, but some casinos may use more than one pack. Your goal is to beat the dealer and all other players by building a hand that equals to 21 or as close to that as possible.
The cards used in the game are shuffled thoroughly by the dealer, and if you are playing blackjack online, the cards are automatically shuffled by the casino software. This is done to ensure that the cards you receive are completely random. This also represents the part of the game that relies completely on chance.
However, relying completely on luck each time will not give you the results you want. This is why many players turn to blackjack strategy to help them win. Being able to use a strategy effectively requires skill and know-how. This is where the idea of it being a game of skill comes in.
Blackjack as a Game of Skill
Using expertise in the game definitely helps you gain an edge over the house and the other players. Players often use blackjack strategy charts as a guiding tool during the game. A strategy chart shows you what the best possible move is for the cards you have in comparison to the dealer’s hand. These are usually straightforward and can help you make the right decisions.
But, the most effective blackjack strategy to date has to be what we call card counting. Being able to count cards is the ultimate skill to have in blackjack and it really puts the odds in your favor because not everyone can do it.
How to Count Cards
Card counting refers to a mathematical system that you can use to better your odds in the game. It is based on the premise that players like you and I benefit more from high-value cards (K, Q, J Aces and 10s), while dealers benefit more from low-value cards (2 through 6). In blackjack, 7s, 8s and 9s are considered neutral cards because their value is neither high nor low.
In every game, the number of high cards in play matches the number of low cards in play. But, after the first round of dealing cards, that ratio will most likely change. You can attempt to determine the exact change by taking note of the cards that have been dealt. This will give you an idea of the kind of cards still left in the pack.
Card counting suggests that if the first deal of cards were mostly made up of high cards, then the next round of cards will most likely be made up of low-value cards. Your chances of winning is best when the remaining cards in the pack consist mostly of high-value cards because as mentioned earlier, the dealer doesn’t benefit much from those. Therefore, if that’s the case, it’s best to increase your wager so you get the best possible payout for that round.
Blackjack as a Game of Luck
While strategy is key in blackjack, having good luck in the game helps. You might know how many cards are being used in the game and what the ratio is for each, but you cannot 100% be certain of the cards you will be dealt. This part all depends on your luck in the game. So, we can conclude that blackjack is a game of skill and luck. You need luck to get the best possible cards, and you need skill to build a hand of 21