Casino games are often referred to as games of chance, indicating that the result depends purely on luck. Blackjack is not that different from other casino gaming options as it is also considered a game of chance. If the game is played fairly, you cannot predict the outcome of the next hand that is dealt. That means that the result will depend on your luck.
Casinos tend to make a profit from the wrong guesses of players, with many casino rules giving the house extra advantage and making it harder for players to enjoy fruitful outcomes. Whenever players have luck on their side, however, they are rewarded for their correct predictions, often receiving generous payouts.
However, when a game is purely based on luck, it is expected that a winning streak is to be over sooner or later. Whenever players experience continuous wins, often the word skill gets brought up, implying long-term winnings are not possible only by relying on luck.
If you are wondering whether blackjack is a game that is based only on luck or if you can gain some advantage using certain skills, we suggest you continue reading. We will let you know the true nature of the card game and how you can improve your blackjack play.
Does Skill Matter at All in Blackjack?
There is a constant debate about whether players need more luck to win at blackjack or whether they can improve their winning odds by mastering blackjack skills. Depending on the person you ask, you may receive a different answer. Many players believe that the card game is fully dependent on just luck, with no skills being able to affect the outcome in blackjack. Meanwhile, others believe they can tilt the balance in their favour when they master the right strategy.
We cannot fully back up either of the sides as they both have reasons to believe they are right. No matter the strategy used, unless you have some magical powers, you cannot predict the next card to be drawn from the deck. That part of the game will always rely on luck and the randomness of blackjack.
Taking into consideration all factors that play a role in the game of blackjack, we can conclude that skills do matter when you play the card game. That said, luck matters just as much as you cannot simply rely on skills and experience to win most hands in blackjack.
Achieving Balance Between Luck and Skill in Blackjack
Players who claim that skills do not matter in blackjack most probably do not fully understand the card game. While it is true that blackjack is a game of chance, it is different from other casino games. While a variation of roulette will have you simply predict where the ball will land, when you play blackjack, you will have to make several decisions that will determine the outcome of the game.
Depending on the cards that you are dealt, which is entirely up to your luck, you can make different decisions such as hitting, standing, or splitting. You can also double down if you feel confident in your hand, or use surrender and lose only half of your wager. All of these decisions may depend on luck but will ultimately affect the outcome of the game.
Blackjack includes an element of making conscious decisions, making skills very important. As you may be presented with several options on how to act, your decision may increase or decrease your winning chances. And here come skills and strategy, with players who want to improve their winning chances required to make the optimal decision under different circumstances.
Using the Right Strategy in Blackjack
To become a truly skilled blackjack player, you will need to practise your gaming skills for an extensive period of time. By constantly developing the right blackjack strategy, you will eventually learn how to make the optimal decision without spending too much time thinking about the right move.
Put simply, when you play using a strategy, you are considering whether it will be best to stand or to hit under specific circumstances. While many players tend to make such decisions based simply on a hunch, by looking at your initial cards plus the dealer’s face-up card, you can determine which move will present the optimal outcome.
Whether you are playing at a brick-and-mortar casino or you have started playing blackjack online, you will benefit greatly from using the correct strategy, improving your winning chances in the long run.
Can You Overcome Luck by Using the Right Strategy in Blackjack?
While it is true that using skills and experience can affect your blackjack play, some players tend to believe that they do not need luck when they have developed the correct strategy. Unfortunately, such individuals tend to overestimate their knowledge and skill and ignore the fact that, at the end of the day, blackjack is a game of chance.
Even if you use the right strategy when you play blackjack and you have extensive experience in playing the game, there is still the house edge that cannot be fully overcome.
Thanks to the casino’s advantage, even when you are making a bet with a 50/50 chance of a win, the actual odds of the player winning the bet will be lower than 50%. That is why simply relying on skills and experience will not be enough to beat the casino in the long run. Even if you have mastered the best blackjack strategy, you should always keep in mind that luck also plays a major role and you cannot expect positive outcomes on every hand you play.
It is also important to remember that luck is also required to win but you should not be discouraged to use strategy when playing blackjack. The truth is, you can master the game of blackjack and always make the right move and still end up losing money when you are simply riding a losing streak. That does not mean that you are not applying the correct strategy or you have not developed the right gaming skills.
Is Card Counting Considered a Skill When Playing Blackjack?
When we are talking about blackjack, it is inevitable to touch on the topic of card counting. This type of skill is the only exception to the claim that blackjack skills cannot help you overcome the house edge of the card game. While casinos do not acknowledge card counting as fair practice, it is definitely a skill that requires quite the time and effort to be fully developed.
Card counting requires keeping a track of the cards that have already been dealt and the ones left in the deck. That allows you to determine whether a more aggressive play will bring you more rewarding outcomes or you will benefit more from making less risky bets. While you will have a lot on your mind when counting cards, the tricky part comes when you have to appear calm and collected while actually keeping a count of the cards.
Card counting is a skill that will drastically affect the house edge of the game. While blackjack has a house edge, it is not a fixed percentage at all times. The odds of being dealt a natural blackjack change with the presence of certain cards in the deck and with others being discarded in earlier rounds. By counting cards, you are able to assess whether the odds of getting a natural blackjack are getting higher or lower and make bigger or lower bets respectively.
When cards are being dealt, card counters give them certain values to be able to decide whether the high-value cards remaining in the deck are more than the lower-value ones. There are two variants for the gameplay when you are counting cards.
In card counting, a negative count indicates that more high-value cards have already been dealt, indicating that the odds of landing a natural blackjack are lower and so is the chance of the dealer going bust. A negative count would mean less risky bets that may minimise potential losses
A positive count in blackjack is achieved when more low-value cards have already been dealt, leaving more high-value cards in the deck. That means that the chances of getting a natural blackjack are higher and it is more likely that the dealer may go bust. When the count is positive, card counters tend to raise their bets as they are expecting more frequent wins.
If you master the skill of card counting, you can definitely tilt the scales in your favour while playing blackjack. However, this type of playing strategy is difficult to learn and master, with many players choosing to simply play using a basic strategy.
Is Card Counting a Skill Worth Developing When Playing Blackjack
While card counting is a complex skill, it is not impossible to learn and implement in your future blackjack sessions. However, there are several things to consider before you start learning about card counting and how to use it. Even though this type of strategy can improve your winning odds it is quite risky to be used.
Even though card counting is not illegal, most land-based casinos will ban you from ever entering their premises again if you are caught counting cards. As this technique gives players way too big of an edge, almost any brick-and-mortar casino has prohibited their visitors to use card counting when they are playing blackjack. This is definitely something to consider whenever you are assessing whether card counting is a skill worth developing.
If you are confident that you can hide your card counting skills well, you can test the technique at any land-based casino. The thing we recommend to players who decide to use card counting when playing blackjack is to be less obvious and sometimes go for the wrong move to allay the casino’s doubts.
In addition to risking being kicked out of casinos when using card counting in blackjack, there is another disadvantage of mastering this type of skill. Unfortunately, while giving cards certain values can be very beneficial while playing offline, if you are using card counting when playing blackjack online, you will not be able to gain the same type of advantage over the house. To avoid any attempts at card counting, virtual casinos and gaming developers have taken different measures to make this technique useless.
As you can see, card counting can be a very useful skill for blackjack players who wish to gain a bigger advantage over the house. However, this technique is difficult to master and even harder to use at brick-and-mortar casinos that are strongly against it. The onus is on you to decide whether card counting is worth learning and if it will be useful in your blackjack sessions.
While blackjack is a game of chance like many other casino gaming options, it is different from other games. Often when newbies are learning about which table games to play, they are advised to opt for blackjack as the card game tends to have one of the lowest house edges. However, a higher player advantage in blackjack is achieved only by those who know how to use the correct strategy.
It is true that blackjack is still very much dependent on one’s luck as there is no way to predict the exact card that is about to be dealt. Despite that, blackjack allows experienced players to use specific skills and improve their winnings odds or minimise their losses. That is why it is always recommended to learn the optimal move under different circumstances as this will significantly improve your blackjack gaming time.
Some players are trying to further increase their advantage over the house by mastering the technique of card counting. Unfortunately, that is a skill that is difficult to perfect and use as it is forbidden in most land-based casinos. Moreover, when it comes to online gambling, card counting is useless.
We can conclude that both luck and skills are important when it comes to playing blackjack. If you truly want to have fun and still enjoy fruitful outcomes, you must acknowledge the importance of both factors and find a balance between being lucky and playing strategically. Make sure to develop your blackjack skills by practising the game but never forget that an unlucky streak can bring significant losses even to the most experienced player.