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The Science and Mathematics Behind The Odds and Probabilities of Blackjack

Many people believe that blackjack or 21 is the most popular casino game in the world as so many play the game both online and in land-based- casinos and it is the most researched game ever. It is also the only casino game with fluctuating odds, as the winning chance changes with the composition of the decks. When it comes to blackjack, many people do not realise that winning involves a lot of mathematics. Whether you have completed an online blackjack guide and consider yourself a pro, or are simply a novice, the more you know can help you play the game.

For any games of chance the odds of winning or losing remain constant during play, like the game roulette for example. At the other end of the spectrum are games where the odds of winning can be determined by the players themselves to a large extent, such as poker. In between these extremes, there are games of chance where the odds of winning vary depending on the circumstance. If a player is able to identify these circumstances through methods of science and mathematics they have an instant advantage. When players have an advantage over the house they can increase their wagers, but only when the circumstances are favourable, and decrease them when they are unfavourable, thus enhancing their chances of profit. This is most commonly known as advantage gambling and it is amenable to formal mathematical and scientific analysis. Those players who use advantage gambling tend to use methods like card counting, hole carding, shuffle tracking, edge sorting and several other methods to do so.

In games of blackjack, the player is betting their card hand against the dealers; the basic idea is to be dealt a hand of cards whose face values sum to a final score that is higher than that of the dealer’s hand without exceeding a sum of 21. The composition of the cards that are dealt may favour either the dealer or the player. Favouritism can occur when the dealer has to follow a fixed strategy, and certain cards favour that strategy. The dealer must be dealt another card when their hand sums to a total in the range between 12 and 16.

Generally, the casino will have an advantage of around 0.5 to 1 per cent, but this depends on the precise rules of play and how many decks of cards are in use. In the long term the casino will make a profit, which is why they have managed to be so successful in the gambling industry. However the advantage gambler needs to be able to change the odds, the most common way to do so is card counting as it can change the advantage to 2 per cent in the players favour. The idea of card counting has been around for ages, and many good players have managed to pull it off, be warned if you get caught, casinos do have the right to ban you. There are other mathematical and scientific strategies that can be used to increase your chances of winning.
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