CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

Blackjack Winners and Losers Have Opposite Thought Processes

13 October 2000

Walk out onto the middle of the casino floor. Look at all those blackjack tables. Now look at all those players—losers in the long run, most of them. Yet, there are people who are lifetime winners at this game. What is it that separates winners from losers? Is the winner smarter? Luckier? What is it?

The difference lies in how winning gamblers and losing gamblers tend to think when confronted with a gambling proposition. Today I'll run you through a series of typical blackjack scenarios and compare what the average player is thinking versus how a winner thinks. When you see the difference, maybe you'll start thinking like a winner too.

There's a dealer just finishing her shuffle right over there. Grab a seat. If you're a typical player, you'll often choose to sit at first base, figuring that you'll get first crack at the cards coming out of the shoe—when more aces are present. But most winning players understand that at first base, more 5s are also present and that all seats will end up with the same quality of cards in the long run.

Your first hand is 12 against the dealer's 3 showing. The typical player thinks, "Hmm, the dealer should bust with that 3 up there, so I'll stay pat rather than risk busting my 12." The winner says to himself, "I know she'll convert that 3 into a made hand five times out of eight, and only four cards out of 13 will bust me, so I've got to hit."

Your next hand is 16 against a 7 up. Joe Average thinks, "I hate hitting 16s! She only has a 7 up, it's not like she's showing a face-card or something. A lot can happen, so I'll keep myself alive by standing." The winner's thoughts are, "She'll bust out with that 7 only one-fourth of the time. If she had a face card up there, very few cards would bail me out. But against her 7, even if I catch a deuce I'll probably win. Hit it."

On your third hand, you split two 6s against a 5 and double down on both hands when you make a 10 on one and an 11 on the other. To your horror, you catch a deuce on both doubles. Then the "moron" at third base decides to double with 4/3 and catches a 4. To cap it off, the dealer pulls a six-card 21! Joe Average's probable reaction is, "How many more hands is this goof at third base going to cost me with his crazy plays? I'd better change tables right now!" But the winner's thoughts are, "Wow, look at all those little cards out there! Better fasten my seat belt and raise my bets. Here come the 10s and Aces!"

At a different table, your first two hands off the top of the shoe are blackjacks. Everybody else beats the dealer's 19 with pat 20s and blackjacks of their own. Most players would think, "This could be the run of the day. Let's start parlaying it up!" But the winner astutely reflects, "An awful lot of high cards have been used up early. If I don't see a flock of little ones on the next couple of rounds, I'm outa here!"

Now you're playing two hands at a time. The dealer has a 3 up against your ace/2 and ace/7. Joe Typical would reason, "I'll double with my ace/2 since I need a hit anyway and the dealer's pretty weak with that 3 showing. But I'll stand with my ace/7 because I don't want to ruin a probable winner." The winner sees it differently. "There are eight bad cards I can catch to my ace/2, and if I get an ace, deuce, 3, 4 or 9, I'll need a second card. I'll just hit that hand, but I'll double my ace/7 because eight cards out of 13 will still leave me with a made hand."

On your biggest bet of the day, $100, you're dealt a blackjack and wouldn't you know it, the dealer has an ace up. The typical player instinctively reacts, "I don't care what the odds are. I'm locking up my $100 winner. Give me even money!" The winner calmly reasons, "I know $100 is a big bet, but if I accept 'chicken money' here, 70% of the time I'm just giving away an extra $50&8212;and that's too often! I'll take my chances with my hand."

All right, it's fess up time. Which viewpoints do you usually take in the situations described above? If you take the first rather than the second, your game can use some work.


For more information about blackjack, we recommend:

Blackjack Bluebook: The Right Stuff for the Serious Player by Fred Renzey
Best Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
The Morons of Blackjack and Other Monsters! by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Blackjack! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

> More Books By Fred Renzey