Practising Basic Strategy

Your first task is to practice your basic strategy.  Study the basic strategy you plan to learn, paying attention to the patterns.  For example, if the dealer has a 7 or greater, hit hard until you reach hard 17.  If the dealer has less than 7, stand, with the exception of 12 against a dealer 2 or 3.  

Once you have studied the strategy, attempt to fill out the practice sheet.  Make copies of the practice sheet and keep trying until you can complete it without error.  A good and inexpensive place to practice your strategy is at an Entropay online casino. Practically all casinos have a practice mode that allows you to play for free.  These same casinos also offer incredible bonuses to get you to play for real money.  If you are considering playing blackjack an online casino have a look at my online blackjack page. This page will give you complete advice on where to play and how to play. The section offers complete basic strategies for all the major software makers and provides detailed reviews of the best casinos.

Practising Counting

Once you are confident with your basic strategy, you should start practising your counting.  One of the easiest ways to practice counting is by taking a deck of cards and counting through the deck.  If you do not finish the deck with count of zero you have made a mistake.  Once you can count down the deck without error, attempt to increase your speed.  Time yourself and attempt to improve your time.  To add some interest, you can remove a card from the deck at random, and impress your friends by predicting the card you removed.  Using the Uston Advanced Plus/Minus count, you can predict that the card removed was a face card or ace with a count of +1, was between 3 and 7 with a count of -1, and was either a 2, 8 or 9 with a count of 0.

Another practice method is to sit down at a table and deal multiple hands, counting the cards played.  Attempt to simulate casino conditions as close as possible.  Once you have practised a bit, you are ready to try a low stake charity game, if you are fortunate enough to have one nearby.  This last practice method will give you practice with distractions that are similar to a real casino.

Computer simulations and games

If you have access to a computer, blackjack simulations and games are an excellent way to practice and increase your knowledge of the game.  Games allow you to quickly practice playing and betting decisions.  Some games will alert you if you have made a decision that is contrary to basic strategy.  Computer simulations allow you to observe results of playing millions of hands using different rules, playing strategies or betting strategies.    These simulations give you extra insight into the forces of variance and show you the importance of the long run.