Why Practice Is Important
There are lots of ways to hone your skills and get better at blackjack, and one very good reason for doing so: it's the best way to insure your success at the tables! When you're new to the game, you don't know enough about it, nor have you played it enough, for moves to come naturally to you. You'll often wonder what you should do when the dealer gets to you. Your mind can go blank on even the simplest moves. You'll make decisions based on what you remember about basic strategy, then second-guess yourself and wonder if you made the right moves.
This is all fine, and to be expected, especially when you're just starting out. But many players never get beyond this level. They either don't play the game often enough for it to become familiar to them, or they do play it but they don't think it's necessary to hone their skills at it. As a result, they never get very good at the game, they never get as good at it as they could, and they probably don't derive as much enjoyment from playing it as they could.
People might disagree on lots of points when it comes to playing blackjack, but good players never disagree on the importance of practice. Of all the things you do as a player, it is the one strategy that is guaranteed to make you a better player. What's more, it's the easiest thing you can do.
Practice is important for more skilled players, too. After you've played for a while, it's easy to become complacent about basic strategy, and to think you have it mastered. You might. Then again, you might not. Many players do very well with the aspects of basic strategy that they encounter most often, but they get tripped up by some of the more obscure situations. Because of this, they make simple mistakes that they could easily avoid if they only spent some time practicing the game.
Some people simply find it hard to memorize basic strategy charts, grids, or lists. It's a lot of information to process, and they'll only take it so far before they decide they know enough to not make complete idiots of themselves when they play. They might bring basic strategy charts to the tables with them. Many are too embarrassed to do so and will instead rely on what they were able to commit to memory.
Have you ever watched a really good blackjack player, someone who awes you with his knowledge and playing ability? If so, know that this individual might be a little smarter than you, maybe a little better able to memorize charts and plays. Then again, he might be less capable in both areas. But it's a good bet — in fact, a sure bet — that he has spent hours practicing his plays, drilling himself on hands that don't come easily to him, making sure he knows the correct strategy play for every possible situation. What's more, he'll keep doing it for as long as he wants to maintain his winning edge.
Are you convinced that practice is important? Good. Now let's look at where you are as a player, and the areas in which you could improve your game.
How often should I do blackjack drills or practices?
It's a very good idea to do daily drills if you're serious about getting good at blackjack. At a minimum, set some time aside one day a week for blackjack practice. Don't let too much time go by between practice sessions. Doing so increases the chances of your forgetting many of the more finite aspects of the game.