# Winning Blackjack – The Development of Basic Strategy and Card Counting

Mathematicians realized early on that blackjack was different from other casino games. The hands dealt to the player and the dealer were not independent but depended on the cards already dealt. For example, in single deck blackjack, if the player is dealt two threes then the odds of the dealer drawing a three go down dramatically. Contrast that to craps. In craps if the shooter tosses two sixes that doesn’t affect the probability of throwing two sixes again on the very next roll. In craps (or roulette) the likelihood of an event happening is independent of what came before, but in blackjack each hand does depend on what happened before – which cards have been played, and which cards remain in the deck.

Many experienced players tried to reduce and perhaps eliminate the house advantage in blackjack, but without success. The “never bust” system enjoyed a lot of popularity. A player would start each new hand with the goal of hitting 21. If he busts, he loses, no matter what happened in the last hand. This player would consistently lose money and the sport of blackjack was considered a game of losers.

In 1966, two brothers, Roger and Maurice Hofmann, published a book calledThe Million Dollar Blackjack System. Containing 17 advanced blackjack strategies, they convinced wealthy people and casinos to let them play blackjack for large amounts of money. The casinos loved the idea and in one evening, the Hofmann’s made hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not impressed, the brothers changed the name toThe Blackjack SystemofProfessional Play. They revised the book, and presented it as a system for the middle of the Vegas strip. Here was a new richly flawed mathematical opportunity.

The system contained valuable new information. It changed the way the game was played, how money was distributed, when it was due, what cards to play and where to play them, etc. The book included a hand calculation that used perfect basic strategy to minimize the house edge. The problem was, nobody had bothered to drum up proof of profit, so the system was sound. It just didn’t work.

It took a while to figure out why. The psychology of the casino was definitely something to consider. In a live Vodka138, you can see a lot of what the human interaction can do. A gambler will interact with almost anyone else at the table. You see long streaks of luck and big pots. In a live casino, it is mediocrity of the gambler that brings in the big pots. You can avoid this by always betting the table minimum and entering a lot of pots.

One psychology trick that could make a newbie a big winner is to get involved in frequent idle activity. Sitting at home, watching TV, eating, talking on the phone, etc. will keep the casino busy. The casinos are like privacy institutions in that you do not want them looking over your shoulders while you are trying to figure out what to do. So, employing idle behavior will allow you to keep the casino busy without people needing to shower you with attention, which could result in interrupting whatever you’re doing. Playing roulette, for example, is really easy money if you’re not thinking about it. Leave the thought of money out of roulette and you will be just as happy as the next guy. Roulette is a really easy game – all you have to do is decide what to bet, click the spin button, and wait for the ball to show. The problem with roulette is that you can spend a lot of time waiting for the ball to show (especially on the wheels with numerous numbers), and it doesn’t really matter which bet you pick. Your selection of bet will determine the odds of the next spin, not the previous spin. Thanks. To Jeff Ma’s ” rails gamblers” – read his book to understand the basics.

There are a lot of individuals claiming to have a system on how to beat blackjack. These systems can be studied and toyed with, but in the end, you will always be dependent on the cards you play and what the dealer is showing. Watch out for the sucker systems – they are no more than a way to justify losing.

Losing is a part of gambling, but a good gambling system can minimize losses and help you to amass a sum of money. Using the same basic strategy as the dealer, you can be sure that winning is equally probable. The principle of mathematics and probability will always triumphant over luck and emotion. Think that you will lose sometimes, you will still lose. About 20% of the time, you will actually lose out, but when you are winning, 20% of the time, you will win.

There are not any systems available that can guarantee winning at blackjack. However, that does not stop people from trying.