Blackjack: A Card Game Of Skill

Blackjack is regarded as the second most popular card game in the casino industry after poker, and it’s almost impossible to find a casino – both physical and online – that doesn’t offer some variation of the game. Many also consider blackjack as nothing more than a game of chance; that all the outcomes are entirely dictated by the hands of fate, and that a player has little say in how much favour they can garner every round.

The truth, however, is a bit more complicated than this, and those that play the game often will know that there’s much more than just pure luck involved – skill plays a big part, enough for some to alter their own odds every round. Here we will look at just why it takes skill to play blackjack well.

The Skill of Play

This is a generalised concept, but one that’s extremely important to the success of a blackjack player. It’s easiest visualised as a player that’s never touched the game in their life, and being taught the rules in a few minutes and expected to play straight off the bat. They would be overwhelmed, unable to choose when to put a card down or when to ask for another, and they would ultimately come off second best to someone with some experience behind them. Knowing the game, playing it, practising its more popular strategies is a skill in its own right, and one that a player will need to develop over a period of time. While it’s not quite as skill-based as something like poker, as blackjack sees the players competing against the dealer rather than themselves, there is still a strong element of skill involved with every round.

The Law Of Independent Trials

The odds for and against all the players is always in a state of shift, therefore it’s up to the player to draw on their own experience and learned skills to try and move the odds in their favour, something that can’t be done in other games of pure chance, like slots or roulette. This pure chance is commonly known in the industry as the Law of Independent Trials, and refers to the fact there are some games that are completely controlled by probability and no other external force, as long as the game is fair.

Counting Cards

One of the most well-known skills in the world of blackjack is counting cards, a talent that can take years to fully master, and can be so successful that many casinos have banned it outright, although it is still possible to find ones that allow it. It takes a keen eye to keep track of cards, especially when there’s a whole deck of them, and an even keener mind to know where a specific card is sitting at any given time in that deck.

Card counting is a potent skill to learn as it’s one of the few true strategies that can be employed in a casino game that can alter the player’s chance of winning.