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Smarter Bet Guide to Blackjack
by Basil Nestor
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Strategy is the key to success at the blackjack table; that's a mathematical fact, and you can count on these expert, easy-to-learn tactics to make you a victor. Here's the deal: everything begins with the basic rules, and they're laid out on these pages with smart little “factoid” tips. Go through blackjack economics, which explain why cards fall the way they do, and what makes a good (and a sucker) bet. Easy-to-follow tables suggest strategies for splitting pairs and soft hands and provide dozens of other statistics and card probabilities.
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Learning Blackjack Basic Strategy

The best way to learn basic strategy is to play a lot of blackjack, but the worst place to learn while playing is in a casino. That’s because there are too many distractions in a casino. TheBasil NestorBasil Nestor is the author of the new Playboy Complete Guide to Casino Gambling. This wonderful book teaches players how to avoid sucker bets and win more when playing gambling games.  He is also the author of The Smarter Bet Guide series for video poker, slots, craps, and many other books about gambling.  Basil's website is  dealer and other players want to keep the game moving, and there is always the pressure of betting. It’s tough to concentrate on strategy when chips are appearing and disappearing.
Of course, you’ll eventually need to thrive in that busy atmosphere, but in the beginning it’s better to learn basic strategy at home where you can give the game your full attention. Some people play blackjack on a computer, and that’s a good way to go, but an even better way to learn is by dealing a real deck of cards (or multiple decks). It’s easy to play blackjack alone, and in many ways it’s more fun than solitaire.
One good way to learn basic strategy is to write each hand from the strategy chart individually onto an index card, and write the correct move on the back of the card. Then shuffle the index cards and review them one-by-one.
Simply deal the hand as a casino dealer would: One card for you, one face up for the dealer, one more for you, and the last card face down. Follow basic strategy and then complete the dealer’s hand according to the rules.
Pretty soon you’ll be speeding through hands and doubling, splitting, standing, or hitting like a pro. You can track wins and losses with coins, poker chips, or use a notepad.
Keep in mind that your home game is identical in its results to games that you would play in a casino; the act of wagering doesn’t magically change how cards fall. So if you lose 50 coins, that would have been $250 dollars in five-dollar chips. Likewise, winning 50 coins means you would have earned $250 in a casino.
This realization can be sobering when you quickly toast a pile of coins. On the other hand, it can make you giddy when you’re consistently ahead because you know this represents real money that you could have won (and you likely will win some day).
Practice until you’re entirely comfortable and you make no mistakes. This may take a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Everyone is different. Take your time, and don’t rush to play for real money. Blackjack is not like a Broadway musical that will leave the theater next month. It will be there forever.

You’ll know that you’re ready when you can play without looking at the charts. Ditto if you can make it through the entire strategy on flashcards and not make a mistake.

The preceding material is just a sample of what you'll find in Basil Nestor's Smarter Bet Guide to Blackjack.

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