The best reason for playing blackjack is because you enjoy the game. But an article titled "Why Play Blackjack" should probably elaborate a little bit on why people enjoy playing blackjack. Elaborating should be easy, because there are lots of reasons to play blackjack.
One of the other really good reasons to play blackjack is because it's an endeavor where hard work, study, and skill can pay off. Memorizing basic strategy will increase your chances of winning. Learning how to count cards will increase your chances of winning even more. And as Fast Eddie Felson points out in The Color of Money, "Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."
Only when you're playing blackjack, money won often IS money earned. A considerable amount of work goes into memorizing basic strategy. And being able to play blackjack using basic strategy requires a certain amount of skill and accomplishment. Counting cards takes even more work to learn how to do, and to be able to count cards well enough to have an advantage against the casino is a real achievement. Lots of people claim to be card counters; not all of them have put in the work to become good at it.
Learning to play blackjack can be more of an accomplishment than other endeavors. Finding golf lessons is easy to do. Finding a blackjack tutor who's able to provide you with blackjack lessons is quite a bit less easy. And finding a legitimate blackjack tutor is harder still. One reason to play blackjack, and to learn how to play blackjack at an expert level, is because it's a rare skill. If you believe, like I do, that achieving something that few other people have achieved, then the reasons for playing blackjack become obvious.
If you want some concrete evidence about how hard it is to play blackjack at an expert level, take a look at some of the people playing blackjack in a casino one night. Watch for mistakes. They won't be hard to find. You'll almost certainly find someone who thinks that splitting a pair of tens is a good idea. You'll find plenty of blackjack players relying on hunches and systems and luck. Becoming an elite blackjack player is at once easy, because so many people play the game badly, and hard, because learning to play well takes effort.
Do you value hard work? Is there value in working at hard at doing something (playing blackjack) that you're probably going to keep a secret most of the time anyway? Because if you want to make a living playing blackjack, you'll have to become extraordinarily good at counting cards, and extraordinarily good at looking like you're not counting cards.
Some people don't value hard work. Some people don't value reality or facts. This is what leads people to believe in luck and hunches. It's easy to believe that you're lucky or unlucky. I have a friend who's firmly convinced that he's unlucky, and that is a convenient excuse for every instance of failure in his life. Blaming the gods of fortune is easy. Playing blackjack well enough that you own your mistakes is hard.
Rational decision-making based on facts is the core of good blackjack play. Irrational, random, thoughtless decision-making is the hallmark of bad blackjack play. Taking responsibility for your mistakes is good blackjack play. Blaming your losses on bad luck is bad blackjack play. One unexpected perk of taking responsibility for your mistakes and losses is that you can take credit for your good decisions and wins. If every loss you see is the result of bad luck, then your wins must also be the result of good luck. I'd rather own my success in blackjack. Playing for money and winning because I did something right is satisfying to me.
So why play blackjack?
Here is a brief synopsis of our reasons for playing blackjack:
In short, playing blackjack well requires a certain amount of character. Call me hopelessly old-school, but character is still a valuable commodity.See also: