Simple Blackjack Strategy for Effortless WinsBlackjack is one of the few casino games where players do not have to rely on luck. With a good strategy, players can significantly raise their chances of winning. That strategy is just what this article is designed to dish out. But, first up, let’s quickly go over what Blackjack is all about again.
To form a strategy, you have to know what you are aiming at. The aim of a Blackjack round is to have a better card than the dealer without busting (going over) 21. Both the player and the dealer are dealt two cards which then determine the subsequent flow of the game.
Within that flow is where the strategy lies. Always remember that a strategy is a plan designed to win in the long run. This means that there’s always going to be some small losses along the way.
The player’s strategy will revolve majorly around the dealer’s face-up card. To better understand the playing strategy, players are advised to first verse themselves with [this: link to Blackjack playing guide] playing guide.
Blackjack strategy is both proactive and reactive. You react to what the dealer has on display and try to act in advance to what they are likely to draw. The strategy helps you know when to:
- Hit – Ask for another card
- Stay – Decide to let the round continue without drawing another card
- Split – Make two bets out of one
- Surrender – Cut your losses and opt out of a round
- Insure – Take a side bet in an ongoing round
The strategy is the same whether you are playing online or in a physical casino. Besides the wagering methods, most aspects of online gambling mirror those of a land-based casino. You will find many Blackjack strategy charts online. While these charts are correct, they are formulated by complex mathematics and may be hard to grasp, or memorize. These charts are a necessity if you are to hack the blackjack code, and here we make them easy to understand. First up, we look at two terms that will be common when taking Blackjack action.
This is a hand that has an ace as one of the card. It is called ‘soft’ because the value of the ace can change, helping you to attain a natural/blackjack (21 total) or prevent you from busting. The ace receives a value of 11 or one, whichever is more favourable to the player.
This is any hand that does not have an ace, hence totals proceed as they are.
Here is the basic strategy:
Dealer nine through ace: Surrender 16, stand any other
Dealer ten: Surrender 15, continue playing with hard total for anything else
Split Aces at all times
Tens never split
Pair of nines: Split dealer 2-9, except 7. Stand for any other dealer card.
Eights always split
Sevens split dealer 2-7, anything else hits
Sixes split dealer 2-6, otherwise go for the hit
Fives split dealer 2-9, anything else hit
Threes split dealer 2-7, if not, hit
Twos always split for dealer 2-7, otherwise it’s the hit!
- Playing with Soft totals
(A hand with an Ace) – The Ace begins with a value of 11
A Soft 20 (A&9) stands at all times
A Soft 19 doubles down against dealer 6; if not, stand.
A Soft 18 doubles against dealer 2-6, hits 9 through Ace, stands otherwise.
A Soft 17 goes for double against dealer 3-6, otherwise hits.
A Soft 16 doubles for dealer 4-6, otherwise hits.
A Soft 15 doubles for dealer 4-6, anything else hits.
A Soft 14 doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.
A Soft 13 (A&2) doubles playing against dealer 5-6, any other dealer card calls to hit.
- Playing with Hard totals
(A hand without an Ace, or where the value of the Ace can only be 1)
17 or more always stands.
16 stands for dealer card two through six, hit for any other dealer card.
15 stands for dealer 2- 6, otherwise hit.
14 stands for dealer 2- 6, otherwise hit.
13 stands when dealer has 2 through 6, always hit otherwise.
12 stands when dealer card is 4 through 6, any other card, hit.
11 doubles at any time.
10 doubles for dealer 2- 9; otherwise hit.
9 doubles against dealer 3-6; anything else hit.
8 calls for an automatic hit.
So to sum the strategy up
The above 29 basic strategy rules are tips you will need to master carefully if you want to be an adept Blackjack player. You can master them as text or you can use them to understand the available online Blackjack charts. The aim of mastering these tips is to help you quickly form a decision on what to do even before you see what the dealer card is.
They come in handy since they help you hack the single largest hurdle of casino gambling: speed. The hurdle is especially impeding in online gambling since most of the actions are carried out by a machine and there is no window for appeal.
The Blackjack strategy is consistent with many strategies used for card games. It relies on the reduction of cards in a deck to make prediction easier for players as cards reduce with increasing rounds of play.
There are other blackjack strategies that are not necessarily related to player actions. They, however, have a direct impact on your chances of winning
Shuffling in Card GamesCards are usually shuffled and stacked together in a shoe. One shoe may contain between six and eight decks of fifty two cards each. The purpose of a shoe is to reduce delays that would occur because of regular shuffling if just one or a few decks were to be used. It also reduces the chances of the house cheating gamblers. For this reason, player are better off playing in a house that uses several deck in one shoe. However, it should be remembered that the more the number of decks, the harder it becomes to predict the cards left in a shoe. Therefore, you should not keep on looking for houses with more decks in a shoe. The best strategy is to play in casinos that have six decks. These are better than those which shuffle eight decks at a go.
Insurance is a side bet that ideally protects the gambler’s bet from going wrong when the dealer’s hole card is revealed. Insurance is taken in two instances:
When the dealer has an ace
The player then places a wager that the dealer has a blackjack. If this turns out to be true, the bettor loses the original bet but receives a 2/1 pay-out for the insurance bet.
When the player has a blackjack
If a player has a blackjack, he may decide to take an insurance against the dealer having the same hand. This insurance pays out even money (1/1) and is paid out even before the dealer’s hole card is revealed.
As a strategy, insurance is regarded as a safe way of betting. It protects the player from loss since the dealer has almost a 1/3 chance of getting a blackjack when they have an ace. However, this leaves a 2/3 chance of losing. The safe bet also reduces the possible winnings for a player who already has a blackjack. For these reasons, taking out insurance bets is not a recommended strategy.
Advantage PlayThis is a strategy whereby a player takes advantage of their sharp brain to master particular happenings. This helps them to predict what is likely to happen in subsequent rounds, hence giving them an advantage. Advantage play is in many ways legal as it cannot be proven to be a method of cheating. As such, players can take advantage of their brains when playing blackjack and use techniques like card counting and shuffle tracking. This is more common in physical casinos than in online gambling. Players playing in physical casinos should be wary of how they use advantage play. If it becomes clear that a player uses these advantages, the casino is likely to develop cold feet towards them and look for ways of blacklisting them.
How to play blackjack at home
Advantage players have a better chance playing at home than if they were to play in a physical casino. By knowing the number of decks shuffled in an online or live blackjack session, they can be able to guess the remaining cards from several rounds of play. The house is unlikely to detect their wit hence they are safe from getting banned.
That said, advantage play might in some aspects be more difficult when playing online. It becomes more difficult to track shuffles and identify concealed cards since no marks are made by repeated drawing. Card counting thus becomes the only logical advantage play strategy.
Playing blackjack at home however carries a host of advantages. One has numerous online casinos to choose from depending on the model of blackjack that they fancy. Easy steps on how to play blackjack at home can be learned in this guide Blackjack Online.
Go ahead, begin mastering the basic strategy explained above and blackjack your way to gambling stardom!