First rule of any casino style gambling: The house ALWAYS wins.
Doesn't matter if its your local riverboat, the Las Vegas Strip, or even online gambling. This should always be in your mind when you are playing with real money. It is very easy to get caught up in your very own "Gamblers Fallacy" or the fallacy of the maturity of chances- a very deeply seeded cognitive bias that is common with gambling addicts. This is the mistaken belief that, if something happens more frequently than normal during some period, it will happen less frequently in the future.
Some Gamblers Fallacy History
The most famous example of this happened in Monte Carlo Casino, where a game of (European*) roulette hit black 26 times in a row. This is like flipping heads on a quarter 26 times in a row. Chances of this happening are 1 in 67,108,864. Still, once the coin is flipped the chance of it hitting heads again will always be 1/2. People in Monte Carlo crowded around the phenomenon and kept placing their bets on red higher and higher, assuming that it couldn't possibly keep hitting black, and millions of dollars were lost by the casino patrons before the 26 streak had ended.
*European Blackjack is 50% red tiles and 50% black. Often times american roulette has a 00 slot that is green, skewing the odds to something a lot less pretty.
Brick and mortar casinos are basically designed to make us feel certain ways when we are winning and when we are losing. They don't install clocks so you spend all night gambling. They pump highly oxygenated air that makes people feel good and bet bigger. This is why I think people have an advantage when gambling online: most of the psychological techniques are ineffective when at home and aware.
However I have had pretty awful experiences gambling as a U.S. citizen online, mainly with getting paid. Even the top U.S. casinos (planet7 to name a top site) have just awful wait times to collect your money, not to mention often ludicrous withdrawal limits and fees. Bitcoin Casinos solve this with often instant withdrawal and deposits! I once cleaned out all my spare wallets and found 10 USD, over the course of 4 hours of blackjack I ended up with well over $1000. Sure it was mostly luck and slight skills involved but after that day I fell in love with online blackjack, though I am carefully aware of the risks. My mother is an addictions councilor that specializes in gambling addiction and I've heard some horror stories that keep me from spending more than a couple dollars here or there online.
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Ok so now we see why bitcoin is so important, but...
Blackjack is a unique and fun game to experience online. There is a simple strategy to follow that slightly changes on the different variations of blackjack games which can give you up to 49% edge. The rules are fairly simple to play blackjack (from bestbitcoincasinos):
This game is played on a special purpose table; this special purpose table looks like half circle cut away from a circular table. The circumference of the half circle of blackjack table is marked with equally distanced circles where players stack their bets. All players who join black jack game stand in front of their respective betting spots.
The dealer deals the cards near those betting circles for each player as per rules of the format of that game. The main objective of this popular casino game is to beat the dealer of the game via card hands.
The procedure to play the game is almost similar; you need to beat the dealer with higher hands. The values of the cards are different. For example, an ACE is equal to either 1 or 11; King, Queen, and Jack are equal to 10, while the values of the remaining cards are the same as their face value written on them (2 to 10). If the value of your hand is over 21, it is called ‘Bust’. You have to make a good combination of cards less than 21 to beat the dealer and win the game. Any value of the hand is called ‘Hard Hand’ if it does not consist of Ace otherwise it is called as ‘Soft Hand’.
That last bit gets slightly confusing so let me summarize the basic rules:
- The dealer draws 2 cards, 1 down card and 1 up card, and passes out 2 cards face up for each hand.
- You then get to choose whether you want to Hit (drawing another card until you stand or bust), Stand (holding your ground against your dealers hand), Split (if you have pocket doubles you can buy another hand, splitting the doubles up) or Double Down (Double your current bet if you are confident)
- The objective is to hit a pocket ace and 10 (or Jack, king or queen for a blackjack (Which pays out 3:2, meaning your 10 BTC bet wins 15 BTC you high roller.) OR to beat the dealers hand without busting.
- Busting happens when hitting any value greater than 21. If you stand on any number under 21 then your dealer flips over his card and continues drawing until he has a hard 17 or above
- A Hard Hand happens when you don't have an ace in the mix, meaning the hand value isn't variable. A Soft Hand however can happen when getting dealt (or hitting and receiving) an Ace (Value 1 or 11) where 11 wont send you into a bust. Example Hand: Ace, 8 = Soft 19 or 9 or Ace, 4, 10 = hard 15
Boom, easy money.
Now let me show you a simplified version of basic strategy
This is a rather simplified version of blackjack strategy, but it gets the general point across without me having to do marathon typing. To find more complex strategies you just do a google search of "Basic Blackjack Strategy" you can find one that works best for you to keep open on another tab or screen. With this strategy you can get pretty damn close to having an edge over the house, but as always 'The house always wins.'*
*Except for those few who can "count cards", however in an online setting that is worthless info for us to get into. Counting cards is a technique that while it can give you a huge edge in real life games, most casinos have taken measures against counting cards. The multi-deck games and autoshufflers are both used to decrease chances of someone counting their way to an advantage.
- If you are funding your wallets through services like circle and coinbase, make sure to use an intermediary wallet rather than just transferring into the wallet your online casino provides. It is against the rules of both trading sites to fund bitcoin gambling and they will not hesitate to ban their users.
- If you are just playing terrible games of blackjack I'd totally recommend taking a break from BJ to play some slots or walk your dog. I find that when I am losing I tend to "rage-bet", feeding into that gamblers fallacy by betting bigger and bigger.
- I always recommend playing blackjack with a friend. I have won over 2 BTC before starting out with just 10 USD. Unfortunately I lost over half of my peak winnings because I just couldn't stop betting... its a tough and expensive lesson to learn but its far easier to have someone else tell you to get out while you are ahead.
Thanks for reading, if you guys have any questions please ask away. Here is my cloudbet referral link if anyone wants it, and here is my coinbase link for those that don't have a way to buy coins and want an easy solution. Remember to stay safe and that gambling can be fun but can also be a total addiction.