Armed with a knowledge of the techniques, and skill honed through discipline and practice, the dedicated blackjack player can dramatically decrease the “house edge” and therefore raise his odds to the best possible level.

The real questions is: how?

A: There are only two things that you need to do to raise your skills to a master’s level.

One: you need to play. A lot. You need to get in there and get your practice, and nothing will substitute for that. When the heat is on, you will need to know what the smart move is, what the risky move is, and why any and every other move is a chump move that will mark you as the loser you are.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. The truth is that you love to play, and that’s why you do it. But you also love to win, and that’s what I’m trying to help you do. So take it from me, enjoy yourself and practice your skills at the same time. Each of those online casino sites has excellent free blackjack games, to practice, and then plenty of ways to challenge yourself with an online match, for real, when you feel ready (some of them also have free slots for fun, but try to stay focused!).

Two: you need to study.

You never passed a test that you didn’t study for, and that goes for the test of blackjack as well. Maybe more so, because you never got a pile of winnings from passing that History test!

Some people study with a blackjack card. Sometimes it’s called a blackjack table, sometimes it’s called a chart.

It’s basically just a graph that shows you what the right move is depending on what cards you hold, and what cards the dealer holds. Sit yourself down and spend some time with them. They’ll tell you more than you think…they’ll tell you the patterns and relationships of the game. Once you start to know them well enough, you don’t need to even think about it any more. It becomes second nature. And that’s when you know you’re getting good.

Another thing that most serious players learn to do, without even thinking about it, is counting blackjack cards.

Yes, that’s right: I’m talking about the ancient art of card counting. How ancient? Who cares! I just said that so you’d take it seriously enough. What is important about card counting is how much better it will make you play, but only if you do it right. And a lot of people will tell you that their way is the right way…and a lot of people will be wrong. But when they tell you that it’s just complex enough to turn on you if you haven’t learned it well enough, they will speaking nothing but the pure unvarnished truth.

So on the next few pages, I’ll be talking a little about the different methods you can use for card counting in blackjack. What I’m not going to do is tell you which one will work best for you; you’ll have to figure that out for yourself. Card counting strategies can be as tricky and unique as the human beings who use them.

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