General Gambling Q & A List: Part II
In this series of articles, I have compiled a list of Gambling Q&A; I am asked whenever I give talks about casino gambling. My list of 3 questions is in no particular order of importance, but these are some of the most-asked questions.
1. How hard is it to count cards at blackjack?
Once you learn to do it, it’s the simplest thing in the world. At first thought, counting cards seems extremely difficult, but then you do it and you discover that once you get the hang of it, it isn’t really hard.
2. How much time does it take to learn to count card at blackjack?
Here are the steps you must take. First, get a good blackjack book and learn basic strategy. It will probably take you a week or two of memorizing to get it down pat. This is the toughest part of the process. You will have to memorize what to do with every hand you get against every dealer upcard. Break it up over a couple of weeks and you’ll master it. Then go to a casino and play for small stakes and when you are perfect in your decision-making, you can learn a count system. It will take you all of five minutes to learn the basics of counting. However, it will take you weeks to do it proficiently enough to go into a casino and do it. Figure two months for the whole process.
3. Is one basic strategy good for every type of blackjack game?
Actually, there are different basic strategies for different games. The single-deck strategy is a little different from the multiple-deck strategy; the strategy for games where a dealer hits soft 17 (ace-6) is slightly different from a game where the dealer stands on soft 17, and on and on it goes. But you don’t have to go crazy memorizing six or seven different basic strategies. The differences in the strategies are not great enough to warrant panic. Memorize one and play it perfectly. After you learn to count and after you become proficient, then begin to incorporate the changes in basic strategy for the various types of games.
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