Psychological Tricks to Make Blackjack an Attractive Game

In Blackjack, the aim is to use skill and strategy to reduce the house edge and beat the dealer with a higher value of cards without going over 21.  In casinos, the dealer must follow specific rules, including taking a card, known as a “hit” if the value of their hand is 16 or less.  The dealer must stick, or “stay” if their hand is 17 or more. In scientific terms, this finite-state means there are a small number of combinations the player can use for the best chance of increasing their winnings. 

Basic strategy

A basic strategy in Blackjack will not let a player win each time, but on average you will win more from the casino than someone with no strategy. Using a basic strategy removes any fear or anxiety about play, creating a psychological state where you can remain focused and calm in your decision making. 

You can download a basic strategy chart for Blackjack so you know which decision to make for each hand you are dealt until the chart recommends you stand. You can use some of the best blackjack systems to have the best chance of a win. Some of these systems have been used by Blackjack players for several years and proven to be successful.  

Play online

A basic strategy chart is best used online by new players until the strategy is memorized for play in a land-based casino. Online play is slower and your focus is less distracted than if you are in a noisy and ornate brick-and-mortar casino. Playing Blackjack online is a psychological trick since even the smallest of distractions can derail the game and change a winning hand to a losing one.


One variation from the basic strategy for Blackjack is known as the Table State where you subtract one for each card 10 through ace and add one for each card two through six.  The psychology behind the variation is that the higher the number of your card, the more likely you are to see a card with a larger value. By using the table state variation, you create a third data point on whether to hit or stay. You need to do this without the casino getting wind of it or they may decide you are counting cards and cancel your account.  

Play without fear

Having a positive mental attitude and being in a good frame of mind are important so that you stay within your budget and if you do have a bad run, you stay calm and continue playing your strategy since there is no way of knowing what the next card will be. 

Mistakes happen

If you make a mistake that causes you to lose a hand, let it go to keep your mind clear for the next hand. or you may miss a perfect opportunity to hit. Research by psychologists Dr Gideon Keren and Professor Willem Wagenaar and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology studied the most common errors made by Blackjack players. Looking at 112 players, they found that 44 per cent of playing errors involved not taking an extra card when they should have and 16 per cent of errors involved taking an extra card in error. 


Blackjack requires the psychological strength to know when to stop playing. Doubling up on a loss is a terrible strategy that could lose your entire bankroll.  Keeping psychological control of your approach to the game will help you concentrate and analyze the hand to make precise, strategic and definitive choices.

Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.

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