How To Play Blackjack

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If you’ve ever played blackjack, then you know that the key to winning at this casino game is in the counting cards. The right amount of knowledge about how the deck was shuffled, when it was dealt out, and how many cards were left in each pile can give you a huge advantage over your opponents. Here are some tips for calculating exactly what’s happening with the cards in front of you… 

The First Step Is Knowing How Many Deck Shuffles It Took To Deal This Deck Out 

This seems like such an obvious point, but most people don’t really think about this part of the game. You need to determine how long ago the dealer had to shuffle up the deck to get rid of all the chips on top of the table. (Note: The dealer will usually do this every time they deal out a new hand.) 

To figure out how many decks were used in the shuffle, count the number of chips in the middle of the table. Then multiply that by two. For example: If there are 100 or more chips in the center of the table, then you have to use two decks. The same thing goes for if you have fewer than 100 chips. So, if there are only 50 chips in the middle, then you’re going to want to use one deck.

Once you have determined how many decks were in play, simply divide the value of your initial bet by two. 

Example: A player bets $10 (100 chips). That’s $5 per deck. So, he would be betting that the dealer has two decks worth of cards. 

So, now you know how many decks of cards were shuffled and how much money they’re worth. Your next step is to see which pile of cards has the highest value. Remember that the dealer deals out the cards in order from lowest to highest, so the ace of spades is always at the bottom of the pile. 

Next, look over the cards in your pile, counting them as quickly as you can. When you reach the count of 10 (or 11), stop and take down the total. Now, write that total down on your score sheet and continue counting the rest of the cards. 

For example, if the highest card you counted is a ten, then you should add 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10. That’s 11. Write 11 on your score sheet. 

In the event that the highest card you counted was a nine, then you’d add 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9. That’s 10. Write 10 on your score sheet. 

The same goes for aces. If you got to the count of 12, then you’d add 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12. That’s 13. Write 13 on your score sheet. 

Remember that the dealer deals out the cards in order from lowest to highest. In other words, a ten counts as the first card, followed by a jack, queen, king, and finally an ace. An eight counts as the second card, and so on and so forth. 

The next step is to calculate the value of the remaining cards. Once again, you just need to look at how many cards are left in each pile. If there are more than ten cards in a pile, you must subtract the count from ten. So, if there are 15 cards, you’d subtract 10 from 15 and then write 0 on your score sheet. However, if there are less than ten cards in a pile, then you should write the count on your score sheet. 

For example, let’s say you counted five cards. Well, since there are still four piles left in the deck, you should write down 5 – 4 = 1. 

Now that you know the final numbers, you can compare them against your count totals. If the count is higher than the value of any of the piles, you’ll want to choose that pile. 

Example: Let’s say you wrote down seven on your score sheet. And, you counted five cards in one of the piles. Since you know that there are 10 more cards left in the deck, you can safely eliminate that pile. That leaves you with two piles of three cards apiece. 

You’ll notice that the two piles are identical except for their values. So, you’ll want to go with the pile with the lower value. 

If both piles have the same value, then you’ll have to pick randomly between the two piles. 

Finally, once you have picked the pile with the higher value, you can check your math by comparing the value of your chosen pile to the value of your original bet. 

For example: Say that the dealer deals out the cards in this fashion: Ace, ten, nine, eight, jack, queen, king, ten, ace. As you can see, this means that our bet started out with us placing our original bet of 100 chips on the ace of spades. 

We decided that we wanted to switch to a different pile, so we chose the pile that had the ten in it. You can see that our choice resulted in a win of 200 chips. 

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to accurately calculate how many cards remain in the deck. With this information in mind, you’ll be able to make better decisions about which cards you should keep and which ones you should pass on.


Paul Pearman is an entrepreneur, life coach, and a motivational speaker. He is also the author of King of Life edition 2

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