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Top Ten Reasons To Play Blackjack

23 January 2000

By Henry Tamburin

When you visit a casino, you have a choice of playing either a slot machine or one of the table games. The latter includes blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, big six wheel, Caribbean Stud Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, regular table poker, and a few more new games which invariably find there way onto the casino floor. What choices - so what's the best of the lot? For my money it's blackjack, not because I don't like to play the other casino games, but because blackjack stands apart as the casino game that can be beaten by skillful play. But there are other reasons why I recommend blackjack to anyone who will listen and here they are.

1. It's An Easy Game To Play
Unlike craps or most other table games, it's not that hard to learn how to play blackjack. The rules are straightforward and easy to understand and the objective is clear - to beat the dealer! You also get to play seated in a relaxed playing environment, another plus.

2. It's A Game Of Skill
You have control over how much odds you are willing to let the casino have over you by how well you play. Don't take this characteristic of blackjack lightly. You can use your knowledge and playing skills to significantly lower and even eliminate the casino advantage in the game. This is not possible in most other casino games (except for video poker). What all this means is that you have the best shot at winning money compared to other casino games or at the very least get the most playing time with your bankroll. You'll have more control of your destiny in the casino when you play blackjack compared to other casino games.

3. Learning Is Easy
I learned how to play blackjack by reading books. Although there are still a lot of good books on blackjack, nowadays you have other choices that include instructional video and audio tapes, special tutorial software programs that will teach you the fundamentals and even advanced playing strategies, seminars by leading experts, and articles about the game written by knowledgeable experts. You can even learn about blackjack on the Internet and play it in cyberspace if you like.

4. Blackjack is Challenging and Exciting
Who doesn't feel the excitement as you anxiously wait for that dealer to flip over the draw card? There is nothing quite as exhilarating as hitting a 14 and watching the dealer turn over that beautiful 7 for a 21, or sighing in relief when the dealer breaks his hand. The excitement is almost non-stop in blackjack, which is why it remains the number one casino table game.

5. Players Can Get Paid To Play
Most casinos have frequent player clubs that reward players for playing table games (and slots). When you play blackjack you can earn more in comps or cash rebates versus other table games for this reason. Most casinos use 2% as the average edge they have over the masses who play blackjack in their calculations to determine how much they will give back to a blackjack player in comps. By playing skillfully, you can play with a casino's edge way less than 1%. This means you will get more cash rebates or comps for your level of play. In some cases the value of the cash and comps can give a player an overall return greater than 100%.

6. Blackjack Works Well in a Tournament Format
The first gaming tournaments were blackjack tournaments. The game plays well in a tournament format where the player with the most bankroll after a specified playing period compared to his fellow table players will win the round and advance to play other table players. Some tournaments offer a substantial cash prize to the overall winner. A class of blackjack players has evolved known as "professional tournament players" who travel and enter blackjack tournaments offered by casinos all over the country. And why not? Often, casinos will pick up the tab for the weekend and these players have fun playing their favorite casino game, and a shot at winning more money than they could playing regular blackjack.

7. Blackjack is Played Everywhere
No matter where you live and which casino you visit, you will find a blackjack game. Blackjack is also offered on cruise ships and in European casinos. It's America's casino game.

8. You Don't Need a Big Bankroll
Many casinos offer blackjack games with low minimum bets, especially during the less crowded weekdays. There are also low stakes video blackjack machines where the cost to play can be as low as 25 cents or a dollar per hand.

9. There Are Plenty Of Variations Of Blackjack
For those players who like a little variety to the game, you've got Multiple Action Blackjack, Spanish 21, Double Exposure Blackjack, and even side bets such as over/under, super 7's, and others. These options all add additional fun and excitement for players who like to play blackjack but want to try something a little different.

10. You Can Even Make a Living Playing Blackjack
You can't do this with most other casino games. But by learning advanced playing techniques such as card counting, shuffle tracking, and team play, it's possible to win some serious money playing blackjack. Some (but not many) make enough to earn a living playing the game but it is not easy. Others use the income from blackjack to pay for their vacations or to supplement their earnings. It is one of the few beatable casino games.

For more information about blackjack:

Blackjack: Take the Money and Run by Henry Tamburin
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
Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at

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