Math Games 321

Winning at Blackjack

Like every casino game when you play blackjack in a casino against a dealer the rules always give the house a slight advantage. After all, that is how they make their money. Nonetheless, Blackjack is not a game of luck but mathematical odds so with a good strategy you can be pretty close to having an even chance when playing.

This does however mean that you have to be ready to do the maths and be constantly calculating the odds the moves you are planning on making have of leading to success. As you are likely aware the aim of live Blackjack is to get closer to 21 than the dealer, without the value of your combined cards going over. Unless you have the brain of a genius mathematician you will have to memorise an odds card so you know with every combination you have what the statistically best call to make is on whether to take another card or now. There is the obvious scenarios such as having 20 or less than 12 but between those levels things are often less clear.

Understanding Side Games

Although Blackjack is a very simple game in casinos the play is livened up by a couple of side games. Making sure you also understand how these work can really swing the odds of coming out ahead against the dealer in your favour. If you have a pair in your first two cards dealt you have the option to split them and play to games simultaneously. You do have to double your initial bet to do this but you then have a smaller chance of losing overall over both games.

Another option is if the cards in your hand total nine, ten or eleven is to double your bet and wager the outcome of the game on one more card being dealt. This can be risky as you need a high card to get close to or to 21 but you only need to get closer than the dealer. You might also suspect the dealer already has a high combination and another compulsory card may push them over the edge.


One interesting feature of Blackjack that many players don’t make as much use of as they should is the insurance play. If the dealer holds an ace amongst their first two cards you have the option to essentially bet on the dealer winning. This consists of you placing half your original bet on the dealer winning which is paid back double if the dealer wins, meaning you would come out even. While this allows you to change tactics mid-game it also means you can lose your initial bet and insurance bet if the dealer does not emerge victorious in the end.