Blackjack Strategy & Card Counting: Which is Better?
There are numerous types of Blackjack strategies that players make use of when they play, but in general terms it can be divided into two groups: those that avail of card counting and those that utilize the basic strategy. If you are new to the game, the question naturally arises: what should I use?
First you have to understand what basic Blackjack strategy is. In the simplest terms, this refers to the actions that a player should make based on the hand that he or she holds, and also what the casino dealer is showing on the table. The best move is based on the mathematical probability of getting a better hand and also of the dealer busting.
By using a basic Blackjack strategy chart (which you can obtain for free on the Net), you'll know whether to stand, double down, split, etc. For example, if you hold a 13 and the dealer shows a 6, you stand; if you hold a 9 and the dealer shows an 8, you hit and so on.
Card counting on the other hand, is another form of Blackjack strategy wherein you literally count the cards in play, the objective being to base your wagers on whether high or low value cards are in the deck.
The answer to the question of "which is better" is this: if you are new to Blackjack, you need to know the basic strategy. A lot of players are happy just playing with only this as their game plan, and it will work most of the time.
Once you gain experience though, you may want to give card counting a try, because as effective as the basic Blackjack strategy can be, the recommended actions there can mislead you if there are too many high or low cards left. By keeping track of the cards left, you'll know whether the basic strategy option is still applicable or not.
A word of warning though: most casinos do not permit the use of card counting, even though there is nothing technically illegal about it (after all you are only using your brain). If you plan to use this in a gambling house, be sure you've mastered it to an extent you don't appear to be straining to count the Blackjack cards. Card counting will also take more time to study, so you need to be patient.
To sum it up, you start with the fundamentals, and once you have learned it, you can experiment with a Blackjack card counting strategy; there are several, but you can start with the Ten Count or Hi-Lo. They aren't that difficult to learn (once you know the basics), and you will eventually realize that the two in fact complement each other, helping you win more bets in the end.