Total newbie- thoughts and questions
  • Hi everyone,
    I'm fairly new to blackjack and though I've played casually for several years, I'm new to the idea of using strategy and possibly counting. I have read several articles and browsed websites and books, but have not delved too deep into it just yet, but I would like to start now. I'm not looking to rake in tons of money so I never have to work or anything like that. I just want to be able to go to a casino once in a while and win more than I lose when it comes to blackjack, and possibly come home with a little extra in my pocket.

    As far as my experience thus far goes, I have been to casinos exactly twice in my entire life. I was in my early 20s and living in New Orleans at the time and the first time I went to the casino, I didn't actually play- just watched. The second time my roommate's mother gave us each $100 to play, which was pretty much the ONLY way I would play since I hate the idea of losing even $10! I wanted to play blackjack since I knew that was the only game that I had a slight possibility of winning, but I didn't know how that was done. My roommate's cousin gave me some very basic strategy tips and I played and won six hands in a row and walked. I was terrified of losing and wanted to walk after winning the first hand, but he made me stay.

    That was 7 years ago but I haven't been to a casino since then. I have the basic strategy chart here: http://www.onlineblackjack.org/basic-strategy-chart-blackjack.html memorized, but as I said, I haven't really delved into the counting strategies yet. I am somewhat familiar with the hi-low system, but I don't really understand how it works when there are so many decks and different casinos have different rules, right? How do I learn about how to factor that into things? And where is a good place to practice online with real casino-like conditions without having to put any real money up? I've done the trainer here and gotten 100% nearly every time, but that's not counting anyway. Also, how much money does one have to put into playing blackjack in order to see anything come back? Like if I went to a casino with $100, would I be able to come out with $1000 or would I have to play $500 in order to come out with $1000? I know that might be an impossible question to answer, but I'm just trying to figure out how much I would even need to spend in order to get something worthwhile back.

    Anyway, thanks and sorry I kind of rambled on so much!
  • imanygirl said:
    Hi everyone,
    I'm fairly new to blackjack and though I've played casually for several years, I'm new to the idea of using strategy and possibly counting. I have read several articles and browsed websites and books, but have not delved too deep into it just yet, but I would like to start now. I'm not looking to rake in tons of money so I never have to work or anything like that. I just want to be able to go to a casino once in a while and win more than I lose when it comes to blackjack, and possibly come home with a little extra in my pocket.

    As far as my experience thus far goes, I have been to casinos exactly twice in my entire life. I was in my early 20s and living in New Orleans at the time and the first time I went to the casino, I didn't actually play- just watched. The second time my roommate's mother gave us each $100 to play, which was pretty much the ONLY way I would play since I hate the idea of losing even $10! I wanted to play blackjack since I knew that was the only game that I had a slight possibility of winning, but I didn't know how that was done. My roommate's cousin gave me some very basic strategy tips and I played and won six hands in a row and walked. I was terrified of losing and wanted to walk after winning the first hand, but he made me stay.

    That was 7 years ago but I haven't been to a casino since then. I have the basic strategy chart here: http://www.onlineblackjack.org/basic-strategy-chart-blackjack.html memorized, but as I said, I haven't really delved into the counting strategies yet. I am somewhat familiar with the hi-low system, but I don't really understand how it works when there are so many decks and different casinos have different rules, right? How do I learn about how to factor that into things? And where is a good place to practice online with real casino-like conditions without having to put any real money up? I've done the trainer here and gotten 100% nearly every time, but that's not counting anyway. Also, how much money does one have to put into playing blackjack in order to see anything come back? Like if I went to a casino with $100, would I be able to come out with $1000 or would I have to play $500 in order to come out with $1000? I know that might be an impossible question to answer, but I'm just trying to figure out how much I would even need to spend in order to get something worthwhile back.

    Anyway, thanks and sorry I kind of rambled on so much!


    Hi, and welcome to this site! More info. is required before answering your questions.... Like, how often will you be playing -- one a week, a month, a year? You said that you've been playing casually for several years, but you also said that you have only played twice in the last seven years... which is it? Also, are you playing for enjoyment, or are you planning on winning serious money?
    To answer one of your questions, Games.com has a blackjack game that is simple and easy to play, as do many other blackjack sites. Just google "blackjack", and take your pick.
    In terms of money, one famous author once suggested that the best way to play was to put all of your money on one hand and hope to win (best way to reduce exposure to the casino's built-in advantage), while another author states that in a game with good rules and with players that know and apply perfect basic strategy, 25% of them will be ahead of the game (make a profit) after 75,000 hands of play. I've been a player for over 30 years, and have experienced the best and worst of times .... once won $17,000 in a two hour period using a $50 initial bet on the first hand played, and once lost $5,000 in 4 hours without betting more than $100 on a hand.
    If you've learned and can apply basic strategy, you're ahead of most other players already, and if you're happy betting the same amount on each hand you play, then you are probably set to play now... just don't expect to win very much or win every time you play.
  • Hi, Thanks for the reply. To answer your questions: I'm not sure how often I will play- probably once or twice a year. What I meant when I said I've played casually is that I've played on my phone or computer- not against other people and not for money or in a casino. As I've said, I've only ever even been to a casino twice in my entire life and that was 7 years ago. I would play for the challenge of playing and hopefully to win more than I lose. I would like to come out with at least a little more money than I went in with, but I'm not looking to make a living or anything from this. I would like to spread out my money across hands and have it last as long as possible. I would never put it all down in one hand and hope for the best. That is why I want to learn a little more than basic strategy- to keep myself in the game as long as possible and to maximize the outcome. I have no problem walking away and I'm not worried about getting caught up in the gambling aspect of it. I'm someone who if I started with $100 and make $500 after playing for a while, I am walking away and considering it a win. I wouldn't lose $5000 because after losing $500, I'd walk away. I don't have $5000 to lose! I know not to expect to win every time I play, but like I said, I want to be able to win more than I lose.
    I've googled blackjack, but there are so many sites and so many "junk" sites. I'm looking for a site that has some kind of progressive system on the skill level of card counting or something. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I want to be able to learn to count cards by playing, but I want to start slow and as I get better at it, move up to playing as if it's in real time. Does that make sense?
  • imanygirl said:
    Hi, Thanks for the reply. To answer your questions: I'm not sure how often I will play- probably once or twice a year. What I meant when I said I've played casually is that I've played on my phone or computer- not against other people and not for money or in a casino. As I've said, I've only ever even been to a casino twice in my entire life and that was 7 years ago. I would play for the challenge of playing and hopefully to win more than I lose. I would like to come out with at least a little more money than I went in with, but I'm not looking to make a living or anything from this. I would like to spread out my money across hands and have it last as long as possible. I would never put it all down in one hand and hope for the best. That is why I want to learn a little more than basic strategy- to keep myself in the game as long as possible and to maximize the outcome. I have no problem walking away and I'm not worried about getting caught up in the gambling aspect of it. I'm someone who if I started with $100 and make $500 after playing for a while, I am walking away and considering it a win. I wouldn't lose $5000 because after losing $500, I'd walk away. I don't have $5000 to lose! I know not to expect to win every time I play, but like I said, I want to be able to win more than I lose.
    I've googled blackjack, but there are so many sites and so many "junk" sites. I'm looking for a site that has some kind of progressive system on the skill level of card counting or something. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I want to be able to learn to count cards by playing, but I want to start slow and as I get better at it, move up to playing as if it's in real time. Does that make sense?

    OK... Have you tried Wizardof odds.com? Easy to use practice game which corrects Basic Strategy errors [enter site, click on "Games for Fun", click on "Blackjack", click on a bet, and play) and has a good intro. to card counting, and the information is reliable.
    I'm not really sure that your efforts to learn counting are that important, considering the time and work required compared to the potential gain you might receive. Card counting requires a considerably larger bankroll than flat or positive progressive betting, and I'm not sure that you would be comfortable increasing your initial betting level by, 2,4,6, or 8 times that amount (Say $5 to $40) as the count becomes more favorable -- but that's up to you, of course. Money management, even though discounted by many experts (who base their opinion on long-term play) might be a very good way for you to go... Establish a "win goal", and a "loss limit" for each session of play, and hope that a little luck makes you a winner!
    Keep us updated on your progress, and best of luck (and skill)!
  • "Money managment," goals, stop losses, and progressions DO NOT WORK. This is according to ALL experts, not many. If you want to come out ahead, you must use a legitimate system. Having said that, if you will only play a couple times a year, it may not be worth the effort.
  • Hi girl,
    As another relative newbie to BJ, I'd suggest the first trip you get used to how the casino works and how many distractions there are, and just aim to play good basic strategy. Once you're good at it, then try a level one count like Hi-Lo or KO. I'll second "wizardofodds.com" as a good general gambling site with a good BJ trainer. I'd also suggest our Senior Member's site, qfit.com, as a good place for more in-depth information. Just remember that our "expected values" are over a very long term, and any one session can leave you far up or far down.
    Good luck!

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