## Blackjack basic strategy

The basic blackjack strategy is the most important strategy for a player to learn when starting to find an interest in the game of blackjack. Computer simulations of millions of combinations of blackjack hands created the basic strategy; Julian Braun of IBM first carried out this simulation. These computer simulations work out the mathematical probability to improve the players’ advantage against the dealer for every single card combination. Using this strategy can lower the usual 5% house advantage to a mere 0.5%; hence why the game is one of the most profitable games in the casino gaming industry. Note – Playing has the same rules but depending on how many decks of cards are used it can vary. Visit www.onlineblackjack-australia.com for more information on this.

The rules and combinations should be practiced until the player doesn’t have to think about which decision to make. All of these strategies are based on the players’ cards and the dealers’ first face-up card. All of these statistical charts are available online, if no computer is available then printed versions of these charts are accessible; some even given to players by real casinos.

A player that gains a hard hand should use all of these methods; a hard hand is a hand that does not hold an ace;

The player should hit when their hand is worth a total value of 8 or less.

If the player has a 9 and the dealer has a 3, 4, 5 or 6, they should always double down; without a 9, the player should hit.

When a player has a 10 and the dealer has any card from 2 to 9, the player should double down; if this is not the case, the player should hit.

If the dealer has an ace and the player has an 11, then a hit should be called; if not, double down.

If a player has a 12 and the dealer has a card ranging from 4 to 6, it is advisory to stand; if not, hit.

If a player has any cards with a total of 13 to 16 and then dealer has cards 2 to 6; the player should stand, if not, hit.

Players with any hard hands with a total of 17 to 21, they should always stand.

When a player is has a soft hand; this is a hand that contains an Ace; these are the best strategies to follow;

If the player has an ACE- 8 or 9, they should always stand.

If an ACE- 7 is in the players hand; they should double their bet if the player has cards from 3 to 6; they should stand if the player has the cards 2, 7 or 8; if none of these cards are present; the player should hit.

If the player has an ACE-6, the bet should be doubled if the dealer has any card from 3 to 6; if not, hit.

If the player holds an ACE-4 or 4, the player should double if the dealer has a card of 4, 5 or 6; if not, hit.

When a player has an ACE- 2 or 3, they should double down if the dealer holds a 5 or 6; otherwise, the player should hit.

## A bit of Back Story on the Pokies (aka the Slots Machines)

We know them by a variety of names. In America, Canada and the UK they are known as fruit machines, one armed bandits, the slots, slots machines or in Australia they are known as Pokies.

The etymology of the slang names is kind of interesting. The term fruit machines came about due to the fruit symbols that appeared on the little wheels inside of the machines when they were still mechanical. And the one armed bandit name is an obvious one to anyone who has watched old movies or is actually old enough to have seen them in real life, the main generation of slots machines had a big leaver on one side than you would have to pull to engage the machine and start it cycling. They were pretty cool and had a very sense of personality to them. Lastly you come to the Australian slang of “pokies”, which came about in the 1970s in New South Wales and was derived from the name poker machine; poker = pokie, but it generally applies to all slots type machines.

Now if we go way back into time to when they first came about or were invented we have to go to the 1800s aka the nineteenth century. It was an American mechanic named Charles Fey who actually invented the first pokies or slots machine. And this machine was named the Liberty Bell. It didn’t use the ubiquitous fruit symbols that are more common place. The Liberty Bell used bells, stars, horse shoes and playing card suits on its wheels and there were three wheels or reels as they are sometimes called.

The basic layout of the slots/pokie machines wheels that consisted of three wheels with twenty symbols on each wheel did not really change until after the second world war. So until after 1945. What you had to do was put the bit of money into the machine’s coin slot, give the “one armed bandit” handle a good yank, watch as the wheels would cycle around and around (savoring the anticipation) and when they stopped three of the symbols (one on each wheel) would be visible as a line of symbols through a little window. The arrangement and type of symbol would determine if you won which would be checked against a schedule taped to the front of the machine. Of course if it did cycle to a paying combination you would hear a bell or buzzer and some coins would spill out of the machine in a tray below or not at all. All very exciting.

Those machines were programmable in an analog sense. It could be set to pay out “X” number of dollars in coins, “X” number of times per “X” number of spins. Of course back then there wasn’t much in the way of regulation of gambling practices. So they were unfair payouts. The machines were usually set to payout every 30 or 40 spins. It worked out that the slots/pokie machines would make roughly 20% of profit for the owners of them.

In the 1920s an interesting innovation came into being: the jackpot mechanism. It worked like this; coins that are fed into the machine are directed into a box which holds the jackpot win. Player after player feeds in coins until a certain combination of symbols appear on the wheels at which point the jackpot tray opens and drops all of the winnings for the player to scoop up.

The shear genius of this relative to human behaviors is staggering. Remember this was the era of more understanding of the ways that the human mind works. You can verify this yourself by looking up the names of psychologists like Dr. Sigmund Freud and Dr. Carl Jung and reading some of their pioneering work in the field of psychology. As these works were published in various journals of the day or as books, smart people in fields like marketing and advertising were buying them and reading them to gain more understanding of how people think and how they make decisions. It is not so farfetched to figure that as these men would talk with their colleagues in the business the idea of watching the behaviors of the players and building further systems to exploit their human weakness of greed would evolve.

As time went on the innovations started coming faster. Money is an incredible motivator. During the 1950s some really big changes came into being. Suddenly you were seeing slots machines with four wheels out on the floors of casinos. And the payouts started getting bigger for the jackpots. Not long after that leap ahead in technology came the so called “hold” button which gave the player the ability to pause any of the symbols for another spin of the wheels. Then came the “three line pay” machines. In most slots machines you can see three horizontal lines of symbols; the winning line and the one above it and the one below it. If the player was to put extra coins into the slots/pokies machine then the other lines would be activated as possible winning lines of symbols thus increasing the thrill of winning, thus enticing the player to add more coins to each pull of the one armed bandit and increase his or her chances of a winning pull. Two coins would activate one extra line of symbols and three coins would activate all three lines of symbols.

Then in the 1970 and the 1980s the concept of multiple coin playing leaped ahead again with the introduction of playing of up to eight coins a throw. An increase of coins put in equaled an increase in payouts. This technology was developed even further into the form that we all know now as the “progressive jackpot slots machines” or “progressive pokies” and you can only win the progressive jackpot by feeding in the stated number of coins or tokens or cyber tokens if playing online.

And as with anything in which large sums of money are involved, cheating has been a part of the development of slots/pokies machines technology. Cheating started out back in the days of the old three wheel mechanical machines with tricks like sticking wire into a slot to interrupt the wheel thus giving the player a bit of extra control. According to legend, some even would even drill the machines, though how they would pull that off in a occupied casino is unclear. Then there were tricks that were mathematical in nature such as the rhythm method.

But, as with anything where money is involved the people who own the machines have pretty well got all forms of cheating solved at this point in time. So it falls to the diligent player to pick his/her slots/pokies machine with care and play the laws of probability which in reality are stacked quite high against them.

## Why Online Casinos are Your Best Option

Having access to a casino from the comfort of your own home means you don’t have to travel to play and win at gambling. Because many of the online casinos offer games as good as, or even more favorable than the Las Vegas versions of the games, it is much easier to find a superior version of a game online than in many land-based casinos.

Besides the convenience of online play, a huge reason to play online is profitability. The best approach to online gambling is to limit your play to games you understand.

Because online games are much faster than games in land-based casinos, your profit per hour of play will be much higher when playing online. While 50 odd spins of play an hour would be an average rate of play at a roulette games in a land-based casino , you can easily crack speeds of 200 or 300 rounds of play per hour are the norm in online casinos. With convenience and solid profitability very likely, you have two strong reasons to become an online gambler and develop a significant source of profits.

As a practical matter, many online casinos require that you download their software to play, so that whether to download the software or not is not really an issue. In many cases, you have to download the casino’s software in order to play.

Most online casinos offer you the option to download their software. Many times a download button will be flashing in your face. Click it. You’ll probably get a list of terms and conditions before you download the software. Go ahead and read it, you will find most casinos have similar terms and conditions.

After going through these steps, you’ll hit a pop-up on your screen that says, Run, Save and Cancel; choose Run. Another pop-up will open, just follow the instructions to install it. Since it is in the casino’s best interest that this process go smoothly, you shouldn’t have much trouble and the program will put a shortcut on your desktop.

Virtually every casino in the world offers you the ability to practice before you deposit any money. If you hit a casino that doesn’t allow this, don’t play there, as being allowed to practice before you pay is an important aspect of becoming a consistent winner.

If a casino asks for payment information before allowing you to download or practice, don’t play there. There are plenty of other casinos to choose from. Some casinos will offer their free games in browser windows, so with those types there’s no software to download.

The best thing may be the fact that you can play from almost anywhere in the world for example, Australians could play in their own currency with custom offers catering to Aussie players. And finding a good online casino is easy, go to google and type online casino australia for example and choose from the many listings provided. The same search works for any other country and makes finding a good online casino very easy.

## Gambling and The Human Desire to Beat the System

Gambling is as old as humanity has been in existence and so has the drive to come up with systems to beat the game. Players designed various ways to cheat as well as working on legitimate strategies and tactics for winning from the very first time that the first cards were dealt out or the first dice were thrown. If we look at the situation with clarity and scientific rational it is easy to see that an honest random game can’t be beaten, but the systems of cheating or of at least tipping the odds in your favor can be quite effective. These systems can produce positive results that are far beyond what would be normally expected.

More often than not the systems that are developed are used to defend the player from unreasonable

loss or to maneuver them into a more favorable position within the context of the game with regard to the long term play. The most effective systems that were developed to win seemed to be geared to games in which skill played a greater part rather than chance in determining the outcome. Games like live poker and blackjack (as opposed to a slots machine where all you can do is hit a button), and to a lesser degree sports and horse race betting. Games where a full knowledge of the mathematics of chance, of the odds of the desired outcome within the context of the game are within the player’s ability to predict with some degree of certainty. In poker or blackjack knowing the odds that certain cards will turn up at a particular moment can give a player a huge edge. Balance that knowledge with people reading skills and the study of human behaviors and the chances of a win go up exponentially.

Yes, these systems are not just about mathematics, statistics and odds calculations, one of the most important elements of systems to gain an advantage is the ability to read the intentions of the other players. That is, observing their “tells,” or behaviors that might indicate to the observer the strength of their hands. And probably one of the single greatest skills that any player can bring to the table is the ability to have a clear head by not mixing alcohol and playing. Then there is cultivating solid critical thinking skills as well as a firm understanding of how your own emotions interact with your game play. That is to say understanding what are your triggers for extremes of emotion if the game play is no longer favoring you.

And with the advent of the internet and the explosion of internet casinos players now have access to game, tournament and player histories and statistics. Not to mention various slick pieces of software that allow you to analyze a situation happening in the middle of a game as it happens.