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In order to win at Blackjack, a player must have a better hand than the dealer by getting closer to 21 without going over. If the player or dealer goes over 21, it is considered a “bust” and is automatically out of the hand. The player must finalize their hand before the dealer so they have the first chance to bust and thereby an advantage.

What is the book?
When a person says that they play by the book, they mean they play by the odds listed by blackjack instruction manuals. There are several books out there on how to increase your odds of winning. There are slight variations here and there and depending on the situation but there are certain rules in situations that every “book” is in agreement in making the same move.

Rule #7
What does “Double Down” mean?
This means that you are allowed to double your bet after you receive your first two cards. You are only allowed one additional card after you double down. Most of the casinos will allow you to double down on any two cards but some will only allow you to do it if you either have a total of 10 or 11 since the former is more advantageous to the player. Furthermore, some casinos will also allow you to double down after you split your initial first two cards, which will give you your best odds.

If you are playing a standard 8 deck shoe, your odds for doubling down are as follows:

Double down on anything: House edge is – .055%

Double down on 10 and 11 only: House edge is – .076%

Double down after splitting: House edge is – .042%

Some people are afraid to double down because they are afraid to risk losing twice as much in a single hand. They don’t realize that it’s actually an opportunity to double their money when the dealer is displaying one of their weaker hands. When a dealer is showing a “bust” card, your chances of winning increase and when coupled with the ability to increase your bet, these are opportunities that you have to seize in order to win money over the long run.

The worst cards for the dealer are the two through six. They will bust more times with these cards showing than any other. If they are showing any other card, you have to take into consideration what your cards are. If the dealer is showing a 9 card and you have a total of 10, although the odds are lower, it’s still a good bet to double down. If the dealer is showing a 9 card and you have a total of 8, it’s not a good bet to double down. You are always assuming that the following card for you or the dealer will be a 10 card.

When you arrive at Sycuan to play Blackjack, find yourself a nice table that you’re comfortable with especially the limits. If you ever wonder what you’re supposed to do, the dealer will always be nice enough to tell you what the “book” says. Remember, most people play the “book” so if you decide to go against it and it causes the players at the table to lose, people may get upset with you. It’s always awesome when the whole table wins but it’s never fun when you are the cause to the house winning. Be respectful of the dealer and the other players but never forget to always have fun!