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The Mental Factor of Blackjack Mastery

By: Joan Peppin, Friday November 8th 2013
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Blackjack is a game that you study primarily by looking at computer-generated strategies that are based on mathematics. In this way, you can prove what the correct play is at any given time. While some players have trouble remembering all of this information, most of the time it can be broken down into general rules that are pretty easy to remember. For example, it's easy to remember that you should always double a hard 10 or 11 unless the dealer card is higher than your total. However, one thing that most people don't work on is the mental factor.

The mental factor in blackjack has to do with how well you're able to play under stress or when you're distracted. You obviously won't be at 100 percent in terms of your mental performance, but you'll still be able to perform routine plays and actions. The idea is to practice everything on such a high level that it becomes like breathing. The point here is that being mentally tired will not affect your game hardly at all if you're able to make it second nature. This is just a part of how our minds work, and practicing to achieve this goal will increase your bottom line when you play blackjack on a high level.

There are two ways to practice for this. The first is to really put your nose to the grindstone and focus hard on the parts of basic strategy that you make mistakes on normally. This approach is based on simply practicing until it becomes second nature. However, there is another part to the mental game of blackjack that you'll have to work with if you want to maximize the usefulness of your strategic practice.

The other aspect of the mental game is working on being able to focus. The best way to improve at this is to test yourself under difficult circumstances. It's one thing to be able to concentrate on what the right plays are in training simulators whenever you have a perfect, quiet environment. It's another thing entirely to be able to do it when you're already mentally tired and/or have a lot of noise or other distractions. By working in these conditions on a regular basis, you'll boost your ability to handle adverse conditions and you'll improve the confidence that you have in being able to deal with these types of circumstances.

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