Playing with a Cool Head

It is said that the best athletes play with ice water in their veins. They keep their emotions in check, always remain cool, and stick to the gameplan. It is true for sports and it is also true for the game of blackjack. When playing blackjack, it important to check your emotions at the door, go in with an even head, and stick to blackjack basic strategy. Doing otherwise, allowing your emotions to affect your decisions will only result in you giving more money to the house.

Blackjack is a game that is a combination of skill and chance. Luck is involved in which cards you and the dealer are dealt. The skill is in determining what move to make. Unlike many games, though, emotions cannot help you. Wanting to win the hand more than your opponent won’t help you. Being angry won’t help you. Blackjack is a game of odds and basic strategy was developed to give players the best odds of winning. The best strategy is to memorize basic strategy and stick to it, no matter what happens. In the long run, sticking with the strategy will be the most beneficial to you.

It’s not easy to do, though. Often, a player loses several hands in a row, thinks about the money that they’ve lost, and then decides that, in order to make their money back, they should start betting larger amounts. The thinking is that since they lost several hands in a row, they are now due for a winning streak, and by increasing the wager, they will make their money back faster. There’s a word for people who employ this strategy: broke.

Losing several hands in a row doesn’t increase your odds of winning the next hand. Whether or not you win is determined by 3 factors: what cards you are dealt, what cards the dealer is dealt, and what decisions you make. The first 2 factors are completely random and beyond your control. Therefore, there is no way a shift in betting strategy can affect the outcome. Instead, it is best to use flat betting (betting the same amount each time) and not get emotional over the losses. After all, as I’ve said countless times, the game is supposed to be fun, and if you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t play. If you’re getting terribly stressed out over the money you’re losing, maybe you shouldn’t be betting that money in the first place.

Statistics say that increasing a bet when you lose causes you to lose money faster, rather than win it back. That’s because, though some of the times you will win, you are still statistically more likely to lose each hand (due to the house edge), so increasing the bet will result in increased losses more often than increased wins.

There is a similar strategy called the martingale betting system, which in its simplest terms is doubling your bet after each loss. While this may seem like an easy way to recoup your losses, this also results in losing money faster. What it all comes down to is this: The best strategy is to stick to blackjack basic strategy and use a flat betting system (counting cards is also helpful if you can). In the long run, this gives you the best odds.

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