There is something strange I have noticed in many people new to blackjack and that is they usually don’t want people to know they’re new to blackjack. These inexperienced players try to hide the fact that they’re novices, as if it is something of which to be ashamed. Instead, they try to act confident, as if they are a seasoned pro.
There is no reason to fake your ability in blackjack. With poker you always want to seem confident, because skilled players will eat a nervous newbie alive. With blackjack, however, you don’t have to worry about that. Instead of competing against other players, you are only going against the dealer. The dealer can’t take advantage of you because he has set rules that he has to play by. If the dealer sees that you are nervous or uncertain, he can’t change his strategy to use that to his advantage. He must always make the same moves in the same situations.
For that reason, players new to blackjack should know that there is no shame in using a blackjack card. If you do not have blackjack basic strategy memorized, print a card that has a strategy chart and bring it with you. Casinos often provide blackjack cards as well, so they have no problem with you using them.
Having a blackjack card with you ensures that you won’t make the wrong decision simply because you are remembering basic strategy incorrectly. And even if you have basic strategy memorized, if you’re new to the game, it is easy to blank out in the middle of a game when put under stress. If that happens and you have no chart to go by, you have no choice but to guess. However, if you brought a blackjack card with you, all you have to do is glance at it real quick to jog your memory.
If you are playing online blackjack, things are even easier. There is no dealer and there are no other players at the table. It is simply you on your computer playing against a computer program. In that case, even if you have basic strategy memorized, I suggest having a blackjack card sitting on your desk for easy access because you have nothing to lose. Also, whereas in a brick and mortar casino you will make people get impatient if you take too long to make a decision, when playing online blackjack you have all the time in the world. The computer wouldn’t notice if you took the time to check your blackjack card, call your friends, talk to your investment broker, move money around in your bank account, and then make a decision. It’s all the same to the computer.
Whether you are playing online blackjack or blackjack at a brick and mortar casino, basic strategy cards are essential if you are not 100% confident in your memorization of strategy. While playing with perfect basic strategy reduces the house edge to 0.5%, making the wrong decisions can cause that house edge to skyrocket to well over 10%. Remember: Blackjack cards are your friends.