- the dealer must stand on 17
- double your bet or "press" when you are hot
- always split aces
So I sat and played with My Guy coaching me along. And I played, and I played, and I played and before I knew it I was HOT and doing quite well on my own. Blackjacker's are funny people- and as I played I learned about the "real" rules of their game.
- They hate newbies-(like me)-who tend to "stay" on a fifteen while the dealer is showing a ten and they will yell at you and blame you for "f*cking up the whole shoe". (for the record-no one yelled at me- but that's just because I had My Guy coaching me) and if you do screw up they will never let you forget it.
- ALWAYS hit on 16 if the dealer has over an 8. I ended up HATING 16.
- NEVER hit on a 12, 13 and so on if the dealer is showing a 2, 3, 4or a"bust" card as it's called.
- Double up on anything over an 8 and under a 10 if the dealer is showing a bust card.
- Double up on an 11 only if the dealer is showing under a ten.
- Never buy insurance on the dealer's possible Blackjack. (although I saw plenty of people do it, the consensus is that it's a fool's bet).
- Splitting pairs increases your chances and is usually a good bet, especially when you draw two eights-thereby ridding yourself of the dreaded sixteen.
We ended up winning big on our first night there; real big, with both of us playing. So it became our nightly fun. After dinner out we would return to our hotel and spend the next few hours in the Casino playing Blackjack. After two nights of coaching, I was able to sit alone at a table and play well (the tables were busy that night and we couldn't find two seats together). Besides that, I wouldn't play at more than a $10 minimum table. I am, at most, a cautious gambler.
I am also a chip hoarder. This is a VERY good thing. I told you I played at only the $10 tables, so every time I got a $25 chip, I would throw it into my purse and forget about it. Every time My Guy would get a $100 chip I would take it and do the same thing. He would protest, of course, but at the end of the night, after the drinks and chips were spent, we always had plenty to cash out and My Guy was grateful for my frugality.
I returned home no longer a "newbie", but a somewhat seasoned Blackjacker, happy for time spent at the tables and grateful for the many things I learned. Blackjack is a great game that can turn fortunes one way or the other in an instant. Some days you win big and some days you loose big but it's never boring. We enjoyed some good conversations, great casino comps and a fun relaxing time, thanks to, interestingly enough, neither his or my Blackjack skills. I would say it was mostly due to my master chip hoarding skills.