blackjack hand - ace and jack

Can I Win at Blackjack if I Don’t Count Cards?

Blackjack continues to be one of the most popular online casino games not only at Intertops Casino but all over the online casino world.  One of the main reasons for blackjack’s enduring popularity is because it is a thinking person’s game.

Many blackjack players also love the games of chance such as slots, roulette, and craps.  The games of chance are wonderfully relaxing and many people play them on our fantastic mobile gaming platform as a perfect way to relax after another long, hard day at the office, the construction site, or the clinic.

Blackjack is a stimulating game.  Many of the same gamers who love unwinding with games of chance, especially slots, given that slots are the best way to experience a wide range of eras, countries, and cultures from the comfort of your house, also like to stimulate their minds with blackjack and other games of skill.

Skill and Chance

However, blackjack is a game of skill with a large element of luck.  That large element of luck will take a prominent role in this article as we explore the notion that card counting in blackjack is actually overrated as a method for continuing success at the game.

How to Win at Blackjack

You need to have several elements in harmony in order to win at blackjack.

  • Play only when you are fully awake and concentrating.
  • Never play when you are hungry.
  • Never play immediately after eating.
  • Never play when you are feeling even slightly unwell.
  • Always follow the best strategy for the game you’re playing.
  • Know the rules perfectly well for the game you’re playing.
  • Be ready at all times to pounce.
  • Count cards if you can.
  • Understand why card counting might not work in this session.

Wakefulness and Food

It is so important to be able to concentrate to the best of your ability when you play blackjack.  The return to player rate can be extremely close to 100% but being fully concentrated on every hand, indeed on every card, is the key to long term blackjack success.

At this point, being fully concentrated on every card does not include card counting yet.  At this point, food is a lot more important than counting cards.  If you are hungry, you simply will not be able to concentrate enough to stay ahead of the house.  Similarly, if you have just eaten, you will be just a bit drowsy or your body will be working on digesting rather than on pouncing in a game of blackjack.

We suggest taking a leisurely walk after a meal or just eat with friends or family and relax without the mental stress of blackjack.  The games of chance, on the other hand, are perfect for when you are sleepy, drowsy, hungry, or have just eaten.  Some gamers have casino parties at their homes.  They serve food and alcohol of course.  The games of chance are the best games for such casino parties.

Wellness

It is quite obvious that any game of skill if you play it for real money is not the best game to play when you are not feeling great physically.   The same applies when you are not feeling well mentally.  If something is bothering you, the best thing to do is to deal with it.

If, for example, you are working on a work project and you need a break, we recommend either playing a game of chance or play blackjack in free play mode.  You will surely return to the project soon.  We simply feel that blackjack and all other games of skill are best played for real money when you are perfectly well and focused both physically and mentally.

Follow the Best Strategy

Following the best strategy will get you very close to a 100% return to player rate in blackjack.  You need to allow the revelations of statistical analysis determine how you will proceed on any given hand.  Some decisions will always seem counter-intuitive but they are statistically correct nevertheless.

So, always use the best known strategy card with the most recent statistics based directions.

Know the Rules

The rules for doubling down, splitting, and especially surrender may change from game to game.  If doubling down is allowed in the variation you are playing, be prepared to double down after splitting.  Similarly, if splitting multiple times is allowed, be ready to do so as well.

Surrender is the most important element in winning at blackjack.  When you are allowed to surrender, using that option wisely will save you a great deal of “lost” money.  You should look upon surrender not as losing half your bet but as if you have won a bet equal to half your bet.

Many blackjack players denigrate surrender by saying that it the same as giving up without a fight.  The proper way to look at surrender is that it is a fight that you win 100% of the time, namely, the fight over the half of your bet that you can recover by surrendering!

Being Ready to Pounce

Unlike poker, where you pounce by intimidating an opponent with a fierce bet, in blackjack you play only against the house represented by the dealer.   There are many situations where you have to be aggressive in order to come out ahead in the long run.

We covered one—surrender—in the previous section.  You also have to be able to hit when the statistics tell you to hit rather than stand or surrender.  You need to be able to double down in unusual circumstances such as when you have 9 points and the dealer shows 5 to 8 points.

You need to split cards when it is opportune to do so and you have to double down after splitting.  That means that a single bet can be doubled by splitting and then doubled again.  Even though you will wagering four times your original bet, when that is the best course of action—and a powerful course of action at that—you have to be ready to make that move!

Count Cards

We are told often that you don’t have to be a genius to count cards.  That is true when you use the +1 and -1 card counting system.  There are more complex card counting systems as well. 

Card counting requires a level of concentration that many players can’t maintain for a long period of time.  Since we have already said that you should never play blackjack when you are tired, we have to state here that card counting may cause your blackjack sessions to become shorter, as it's very tiring to keep count.

Counting cards also works best when you reach a count of +3 or -3 and the cards exposed on the board justify an aggressive play.  We know from sports that a perfect confluence of skill and opportunity do not always come about so easily.

So, the bottom line is that there are many more manageable and doable factors that contribute to winning at blackjack other than card counting, no matter how good card counting may be for the players who have mastered the skill.