Casino games are generally considered games of chance, where it is only luck that determines winners and losers. While this is perfectly true for most of them, in some of these games the skill and knowledge of a player can make a difference.
The outcome of a round of blackjack ultimately depends on the random shuffling of the card decks in play, but there is much more that has the potential to affect the turn of events in the game.
Previous Hands Matter
One of the facts that distinguishes blackjack from other casino games is that the cards that have already been dealt by the croupier have an influence on the next rounds. In true games of chance, the rotation of the roulette wheel or the slot reels, the throw of the dice, or the accidental arrangement of the cards determine the results of a bet, and then the forces of randomness and probability are restarted for the next throw or spin.
The chances of the roulette ball to end up on Red are the same for every spin, regardless if it fell on Red the last 5 times or never touched the color for the last 10 spins, or whatever it is that has happened previously.
When playing blackjack, if you notice, for example, that a lot of face cards have been drawn from the shoe already, this means that face cards are less likely to appear in the next rounds.
Previous hands matter in blackjack and this is enough to send the game away from the orbit of pure chance.
Player Decisions Have Key Role
There are three options for blackjack players to choose from after they get their hand. They can hit, stand, or split (plus double down, surrender, or get insurance if the rules of the particular game allow it), and the decision they make will determine the outcome of their bet.
After placing a bet on roulette, on the other hand, the player has no control over what happens next. The bet will win or lose regardless of what they know, think or do. The only influence players can exert is by choosing to make low risk bets that pay out less, or riskier bets that pay out more.
Due to the key role that player decisions have in blackjack, it is recommendable that novices play demo games for free or with very small stakes at first in order to get some practice and learn the ins and outs of blackjack. A selection with more than 120 live and RNG games can be found at the Casino Days blackjack page together with some helpful information about the game.
Optimal Strategy for Blackjack – Now That Requires Learning a Skill
Having gained a basic initial understanding of how probability works in games of blackjack, many players decide to dig deeper and start studying the so-called basic or optimal strategies. These take time to master, but employing them turns playing blackjack into a real exercise of skill.
Basic strategies advise players on what is the optimal move in any given situation which brings the biggest chances for a win or avoiding a bust with this particular player and dealer hands. It is important to note that such strategies cannot “beat the game”, but are able to bring the house edge to way less than 1% if used masterfully.
And never forget – chance can always play you a trick and deliver the “wrong” cards, or the rules of the game can make your strategy useless.
The dealer sometimes splits the shoe and half of the cards remain behind the split and never enter the game. This makes it impossible to count cards or predict if more high or low-value cards are left to be dealt.