This game is very easy to learn, and extremely difficult to master. The most sophisticated strategies involve counting cards. The basic idea behind counting card is that when the remaining shoe (i.e., the cards that have not yet been played) has more high cards (i.e., 10’s and 9’s), it favors the player because there is a better chance for the player to receive Blackjack, which pays 3:2.
At the same time, if the dealer gets a Blackjack, you only lose what you put down. Also, since the dealer follow a strict rule as to whether to hit or stay, the presence of more high cards increases the chance that the dealer may go bust. Therefore, all card-counting schemes center around the ability to find out when the remaining deck has more high cards. When favorable situations arise, the players will bet more, since the odds are now in favor of the player. Conversely, if the remaining cards are unfavorable, the player would bet less.
There are many books/strategists who claim that their counting strategy is the best. Counting cards, however, is very difficult under casino conditions. Imagine having to order a drink, keep a close eye on the table for all the cards that turn up, keep a count, all the while making sure you are not giving away the fact that you are counting cards at the same time!
For those of us who are not into counting cards because we do not have that much time to practice, there is still an optimal strategy that do not require card-counting, and it’s commonly called the Basic Strategy, which can be found on the net. Its rules are easier to remember than that for Video Poker. Players who successfully utilize Basic Strategy will be only at a 0.5% disadvantage against the dealer. This is a fair enough percentage that, when combined with slot club benefits, players can actually come out ahead.