Over the past year, I adopted gambling as my newest hobby and have tried several different games to learn about which ones I liked and didn’t love. It has been an incredible learning experience.
In fact, if I had known just how much there was to learn, I probably wouldn’t have started in the first place, but now, I am glad that I did.
I have learned how to play craps, roulette, baccarat, and multiple varieties of poker, and I have developed an unexpected love for slot machines. There are several games that I had never even heard of before, but I learned how to play them anyway.
The best part has been deciding how to spend my gambling winnings.
Through all of these experiments, I have experienced a plethora of game options. In order to learn all of the different games, I have played them online, in the casino, and with live dealers (when the option is available). The combination of all of these trials has given me a pretty clear understanding of my game preferences.
For example, I have learned that I like some games, like craps and roulette, better when I play them online instead of in person. I have come to the conclusion that I prefer European roulette instead of the American or French versions.
But the preference that has become most obvious to me is that I love blackjack best of all.
When I first started playing blackjack, I enjoyed it because it was easy to learn, but now that I have mastered the game, to some extent, I have found some other reasons why it is more appealing.
Of course, my love for blackjack doesn’t mean that I have stopped playing other games. There are still other things that draw me to each of them, and I love having a variety of options.
But blackjack is by far the one that I choose most often. Here are three reasons why I keep playing blackjack more than any other game.
Reason #1 – The Ability to Use Strategy
Casino games have a spectrum of how much you can use strategy to change the outcome of the game. On the one hand, you have slot machines, which use absolutely no skill, and on the other hand, you have complex poker games that require strategy in how you place your bets, how you respond to other players, and how you use your cards.
Blackjack falls toward the upper end of this strategy spectrum because it requires some basic strategy to win consistently, but the techniques are straightforward and only focus on the cards.
It does not include several rounds of betting with different methods for each round, like Texas Hold’em. The strategies used to play blackjack are almost the same no matter how many decks you are playing with, and you never have to worry about playing against other players.
I appreciate the fact that I can use different tactics to win more often, but I also like that I don’t get overwhelmed with worrying about it.
When I play poker, I get easily frustrated because I am always concerned that I didn’t make the right bets or that I didn’t read the other players correctly. In blackjack, I just have to focus on the cards in front of me.
The best way to learn blackjack strategy is to study strategy charts. These charts have used probability to define precisely which move will give you the best chance of winning depending on your hand and the dealer’s face-up card.
I don’t have the strategy charts memorized, but I have played often enough that I have developed a habit of following the recommendations most of the time.
When I play blackjack online, I usually have a separate tab open with the strategy chart so that I can refer back to it. I have done that often enough that I can remember the techniques even when I play in person.
If you are sick of games where you have no say in the outcome, blackjack is a great game for learning how to use strategy.
For those of you who regularly play complex strategy games like poker, blackjack might be an excellent way to relax after a stressful game or a way to practice focusing on card strategy. Because it is a simple and straightforward strategy game, it can offer something for everyone.
Reason #2 – The Odds of Winning
The second reason that I have learned to prefer blackjack over other games is because of the odds of winning the game. House edge, or house advantage, refers to how often the house is likely to win over time.
The lower the house edge, the better chances you have of winning throughout the course of the game. It is essential to understand that each hand has the same possibilities, so the house edge doesn’t relate to each hand, but to the entire game.
Every casino game has some house advantage because that is how casinos make their profits. But the level of the house advantage will vary based on the game that you are playing, and in some cases, your betting strategy.
For example, slot machines usually have a high house edge ranging from 3%-20%. But many table games have a higher or lower house edge depending on how you bet. For example, the game of craps has a small house edge of 1.4%, as long as you are playing on the pass and come bets, but other stakes can increase the house edge anywhere from 5%-17%.
Blackjack is one of those games that has a fluctuating house edge that is dependent on how you play, but it is not as clear-cut as some other games. Each hand is different, so there is not a single move that will decrease the house edge every time.
But in general, if you are following closely with the suggestions in the strategy chart mentioned in the above section, the house edge will range from .2% to 2%.
I personally like to think that as long as I am doing my best to play the best way I know how, then I am increasing my odds of winning as much as is possible. I certainly don’t win every time, but I take comfort in knowing that I am getting the best odds.
Reason #3 – Social Aspects of Blackjack
One thing that I find particularly unique about blackjack is that it is not a social game regarding competing with other players, but it does allow for some conversation with other players.
Craps can be chaotic when everyone is playing at the same time, and poker requires playing against other players. Blackjack offers a perfect medium, but some of the social options will depend on which format of the game you are playing.
If you are so inclined, you can play online blackjack that requires absolutely no contact with other people. For those of you who want some limited interaction, you can try a live-dealer format.
In-person games offer a variety of social atmospheres depending on the table that you are playing. You might choose a packed game with lots of outgoing players, or you can select a different table with a quieter or smaller crowd, and you will probably find several tables that are somewhere in between.
On days when I need some alone time, I opt for online games. When I have had a stressful day without much human interaction, I prefer the quiet live-dealer games because I can talk to someone without being overstimulated with conversation.
Trips to the casino are a little different because I usually have someone else with me, so we choose a table together.
It is safe to assume that personality type has something to do with which style of gambling you will prefer. Extroverts, like me, will probably like the interaction of in-person games, while introverts might prefer the online versions.
The truth is that most of us have times when we fluctuate between wanting to spend time alone and craving interaction with others. No matter how you are feeling, blackjack has an option that will work for you.
I could probably go on for days with other reasons why blackjack is the best casino game, in my opinion, but you would all stop reading at some point. At the end of the day, your favorite casino game is going to depend on your own personality and preferences.
So, I will end with a simple recommendation. No matter what game you are playing, try several versions of it. You may hate playing baccarat at the casino, but maybe a live-dealer format would be more your speed.
And if you haven’t already, you have to give blackjack a chance. Perhaps it will become your favorite, too.
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