How the Cards are Played in Blackjack

Variations of the temporizing count spoke frequently of adjustments in the count that could be made, based on the cards of players who drew ahead.

This must have alerted any, to the advantage of sitting to the left of the other players, since the deal and the drawing of cards proceed clockwise.

Place one, to the dealer's immediate left is known as 'first base'; the last base (place six or seven, depending on the size of the table) is spoken of as 'third base'. A player should always try to sit near third base, preferably at place five.

Say, in a game, people may wonder why a player does not sit at third base itself. The reason is a practical one: from the vantage point of third base it is difficult to see the cards at the other end of the table.

Not only is distance a minor factor, but the dealer's forearms may obscure the cards when he turns them up, particularly the cards at place one (first base). The same thing is true from place six at a seven-place table.

Despite one's strong preference for place five, one advantage must be acknowledged for a seat near the right will have a better chance of completing his hand (or a major portion of it) from the deck before the shuffle; the dealer will not be able to complete his hand before the shuffle.

This tends to be an advantage when the deck is 10-rich. By the same token, it is, of course, a similar disadvantage when the deck is 10-poor.

However, bets should be large with a favorable deck and small otherwise. Something can be said, therefore, for sitting near first base instead of near third base.

Nevertheless, a good blackjack player knows that the advantage of having more complete temporizing count at a place five more than compensates for the advantage for playing near place one or two.

And more to the point, most dealers usually do not deal to the last card; in general, they will shuffle before starting a round if they see they probably do not have enough cards left to complete it. On this regard, it is recommended sitting near third base.

The best thing that can be said for having several players present is that when they play ahead of you, they provide information, via the point count, on how you should play your hand.

But several players will obviously bleed away the deck when it is favorable, thus depriving you of a long run of hands from a 10-rich deck. Also, the more players that are present, the more difficult it is to keep an accurate point count.

In addition, a crowded table reduces the number of hands you will be able to play during a given period of time. Since you are a winning player, you should want to play as rapidly and as much as possible.