Originally Answered: Can anyonr recommend a good source to help me become a better blackjack player?
Blackjack is a very complex game that can take years to begin to fully understand, but you are on the right track by wanting to take steps to better understand it.
Player skill in blackjack is almost directly proportional to the amount of money they expect to lose (or even win, if they get good enough)
For starters, im just going to dismiss the idea suggested here, that you shoudl assume the dealer has a ten in the hole, throw it out the window, forget it, just do it, it is SIMPLY the LEAST EFFETCIVE playing strategy ever, you will play at almost a 10% disadvanateg using this logic, when with conventional strategy you will be playing atonly ~0.5% "Natesando" is your typical gambler who has abosolutely no idea how to play blackjack effectivly, players liek him and other players will often preach their theory of blackjack and the dealer hole card always being a ten. Also, only card counters split tens, and even then they do so very rarely. Gamblers such as natesando also beleive tat events that happened in the past happen effect events in the future in a world of random events, it does not matter how many times the dealer has had blackjack in the past, when he has an ace, there is a fixed probibility of him holding a card the yeilds a blackjack. For starters on playing better blackjack, NEVER take insurance, EVER, not even if you also have a blackjack, it will only cause you to lose more money.
Moving on, the selection of games can have an effect on how much money you expect to lose/win due to the size of the hosue advantage, games that do not alow you to double down on certain hands, such as after splitting, or only allow it on hands of 9,10,11 limit yoru potential to minimise the hosue edge by doublign down. The house edge can be reduced by a number of rules variations, to find the hosue advanatge of the game you are playing (with perfect playign strategy) visit this link.
after visiting that link, and toying wiht it, you will probibly recall that the single deck game you have been playing in the past is likely a 6:5 game where blackjacks pay only 6:5. and have noticed that the edge on this game is over three times that of an 8 deck game with conventional rules. While many players are correct in the fact that fewer decks means better odds, the addition of that rule changes the house edge so much that its not even important anymore, single deck 6:5 games are of the worst blackjack games available.
Next there is playing strategy, it is complex to explain why playing strategy is the way it is, as you are just comign to understand blackjack, but you just have to trust that peopel ahve given it way mroe analisis than you possibly could in the several months of your life. "Basic playing strategy" as it is called is the ideal action to make for each possible hand you cna be dealt in the game of blackjack. One important thing to know is that it varies by the rules and number of decks in the game a little bit, so you need to do a little homework before you hit the tables. By using basic playing strategy, the house edge will be the absolute lowest it can possibly be when compared to using any strategy that guides your play.
This link you can use to get the correct playing strategy for the game you are playing and it will yeild the lowest possible house advnatage without counting cards. http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bjbse.php
Basic strategy is calulated by considering the cards you have in yoru hand and the dealers, then simulation by computer every permutation of the cards remaining in the deck(s) The computer analisis will keep track of the percentage of wins over every one of the millions of ways each hand can play out for each typoe of action such as hitting, standing, splitting etc, In the end, there is an average amount of money that is won or lost for each action and whicever action yeild the highest amount of money won on average is the correct play, because it will win you more money over the long term than any other action.
This is done over and over for each type of play and considers the correct plays for otehr hands you may encounter during the simulation.
Basic strategy is correct, you are wrong, just accept it.
Lastly, blackjack is beatable by counting cards and other methods, this area is very intracate and cant be summed up in a few paragraphs with links, even if you know how to count cards, with a point value system, it is only 5% of being able to beat the game of blackjack.
If you wnat to beat the game, you need to spend several months learnign and reading books about it, so hit up the bookstore and search in the "cards and games" section for books on blackjack advnatage play.
No time for spell checker, im going snowboarding, send me an email if you need to knwo anything about blackjack