Blackjack for beginners

The game of blackjack favors the dealer; if both you and the dealer bust (i.e., exceed 21), you lose. Still many people win money at the 21 tables, and there are as many experts on the subject as there are people willing to listen to them. If you want to prolong your ride at the table, the following elementary rules may prove useful. 

 

MIND GAMES AND NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM

No-Limit Hold'em ring games require more psychological and bluffing skills than any other popularly played poker game. However, you should only use these tools based on the type of opponent you're playing.

 

If you are playing a lower stakes No-Limit game (with a buy-in of $100 or under), I wouldn't suggest using psychological tools much. An occasional flop bluff against few opponents may be profitable, but these opponents will frequently pay off their whole stack on hands as low as second pair. In these games, you should just wait, make a good hand, and then ream your opponents with pot-sized bets.

 

Once you play in a higher stakes game ($200 buy-in or more), mind games will play a larger factor, especially if people's stacks are deep (more than 100 big blinds). However, the first thing you need to do is categorize each of your opponents you are facing: 

 

In general, you should only play mind games with tight-aggressive and hyper-aggressive players. These other players act predictably, so there is no real reason to change them. However, you do not want to be bullied by hyper-aggressive players, and you do not want to live in fear if a tight-aggressive player bets because this is what these players want. You need to consistently change your image to these players. You want to make it difficult for them to think you are tight-aggressive or a hyper-aggressive. When changing your pace, you should also pay attention to several small, important things such as:

 

 

However, perhaps the most important mind game is how much you bet. You should not bet based on how much your hand is worth, but how much your opponent's hand is worth. Bad opponents will let you know what their hand is worth by betting its value. However, good players will bet how much they think you value your hand. To bluff someone out, you generally must bet more than how much they value their hand (if someone is smart though, they may realize this and call you if you have been bluffing a lot). However, to maximize the value of your made hands, you should bet how much your opponent will be willing to call given their hand. Examples of this in play: