# The Odds of Blackjack Are Determined by Skill and Understanding

Blackjack is one of the casino games with a high degree of skill involved. Unlike poker or roulette, where the odds of a player winning are determined by luck, the odds of blackjack are determined by skill and understanding basic strategy. The game starts when a player or dealer places a bet in the betting areas on the table. The dealer then deals each player two cards face up. The players may then choose to hit (ask for an additional card) or stand (keep the current hand). If a player’s total is higher than the dealer’s without going over 21 they win. If the dealer has a blackjack, the player’s first bet loses but their side bet pays out at 3:2.

The game of blackjack became popular when it was discovered that the house edge could be minimized by following basic strategy. It was also discovered that even if players weren’t perfect, they could beat the house in the long run with this strategy. Expert players spend a lot of time studying the game and understand it inside and out. Novices, on the other hand, often miss golden opportunities. They play their hands too conservatively and miss chances to maximize their wins. They will hesitate to hit a hand of 16 against the dealer’s 7, or they will fail to double down or split pairs as often as they should. Basically, they give up too much money to the house.

There are many reasons why novices lose more than expert blackjack players, but the most important is that they don’t put in the effort to understand the game. They understand certain parts of it very well, but not other aspects. And when those other aspects come up, they’re confused. Novices also don’t study the exceptions to the rules as thoroughly as experts do.

As a result of these and other factors, the average player will lose around 2 percent of his bets. But a good blackjack player can cut this figure considerably, and in some cases, even eliminate it altogether.

To understand how this is possible, you must first realize that the game of blackjack requires knowledge of probability theory. The reason is that in blackjack, as in any card game, we don’t know the exact distribution of the cards. But there are ways to approximate this information and use it to construct an optimal strategy.

In fact, it was mathematicians in the 1950s who developed blackjack’s first optimal strategy. These mathematical approaches rely on approximations that avoid the difficulty of performing precise probability calculations while still giving us an accurate picture of the probability of each play.

As a result, if you want to win at blackjack, there is an exact play that will always yield the best results. This play is not difficult to learn, but it takes commitment and practice to master. If you’re ready to test your skills, come on down to Leelanau Sands and try our blackjack tables!