Before you enter the black jack casino, decide on a game plan. You need to have a strategy and have your goals in mind before you start. Mental preparation and attitude is very important (See Mental Preparation).
To effectively beat the casinos at blackjack, whether playing a single or multiple deck game, it is highly recommend that you first learn a card counting strategy. There are several articles on this Web site that describe basic card counting ideas and methods. Card counting is the single best way to increase your chances of winning black jack at a casino. However, there are also other basic tactics to keep in mind when you play.
The most important thing you always want to do when at the table is pay attention. Playing blackjack is a mind-intensive game and while you can play it casually, you do so to the detriment of your bankroll. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by people and events around you. Focus on the game. Also, don’t drink alcohol while you are playing. That way you’ll end up with more money for drinking later.
Consider playing at the third base table location, especially if it is a cards-down game. This gives you a better view of the other players’ cards. By all means keep an eye on their cards, not just the dealers, so you know what cards have been played.
As much as possible, try to play at your own pace. You can’t control how fast the dealer deals, but you can slow things down when the dealer prompts you for a play decision. Stay in control of yourself at all times.
Don’t let other players distract or affect you. The player next to you may make a bonehead play and that affects the card you wind up losing on your hand because of it. Don’t pay any attention to that. Mistakes other players make will work to your advantage as much as they do not. Stay focused on what you are doing.
When you are card counting, be discrete. The casinos do not like card counters because they know it gives players an advantage at black jack. The casino personnel can and will ask you to leave if they figure out you are card counting. The real key to fooling the blackjack personnel is to appear as though you are just another gambler. Don’t look like you are counting and calculating. Appear relaxed, be talkative, and don’t follow the card counting strategy. Some strategies tell you to vary the best wildly according to the cards previously played. Nothing tips the house off faster than that – don’t do it. Finally, do not appear overconfident or openly brag about your black jack knowledge , just act like a normal dumb tourist. Casinos love dumb tourists!
By the way, there is no law or rule that says a blackjack dealer cannot count cards. A dealer may count cards because he or she is bored but more likely is that the casino may encourage counting. The casino knows the value of card counting, and just like you wants to win money. If the deck becomes favorable to the player, the house can “shuffle up”. This is also called preferential shuffling (a game control measure) and it vaporizes your advantage.