Blackjack remains one of the most popular casino games worldwide. Its longstanding appeal can be seen as a result of its ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ design. Since it is in essence a game of chance it is impossible to fully master or ‘solve’ blackjack, but understanding blackjack strategy can definitely give you an advantage at the table and help you play better blackjack. The following blackjack tips are recognised as some of the best ways to increase your odds of winning big.
Winning blackjack is all about probability, and understanding how to manipulate that probability to your own advantage. It is well-known that casinos use a base advantage to try to ensure that they always make a profit in the long run. In blackjack you are only playing against the house, not other players, so it is in your interest to minimise the house advantage as much as possible. This can be achieved by following the Basic Blackjack Strategy. This blackjack strategy helps identify what action you should take based on the cards you hold and the card which the dealer has upturned. You can find easy to read charts displaying this information with a cursory online search. Traditionally players would have to memorise this table in order to make use of it in casinos, but nowadays you could simply have it open in another tab or even print it out and refer to it while you play blackjack online. Do bear in mind that the strategy will vary slightly depending on rules variations (when you can split, double-down etc.) and on the number of decks the dealer is using.
Nowadays many people have heard of counting cards in blackjack because of its depictions in movies and popular media. However, it is often presented as an option which is only available to mathematical geniuses and gambling savants. This is far from true, anyone can learn to count cards and with practice be able to use this skill to great benefit.
The goal of counting cards is to give a player a general idea of what kind of cards are left in the deck. Since blackjack does not involve shuffling the deck between hands, you can know from the cards which have already been played which cards are left. Since it would be near impossible to keep track of exactly which cards have been played, methods of card counting allow you to get a feel of what remains.
The basics to counting cards are as follows. Every card is assigned one of three possible numbers +1, 0, or -1 depending on the card’s value. Values of 2-6 are +1, 7-9 are 0, and 10-Ace are -1. When you count cards you are waiting for the total value to reach about +4, this indicates that there are more high value cards left in the deck than low. It is easier to win hands when you are drawing high value cards, and it can also help you to decide if you should hit or not. Once the deck hits that +4 its time to increase your bet since you are more likely to win, and therefore can make more money. If the deck is closer to 0 or even in the minus numbers, then its time to either bet low or walk away.
It is worth mentioning that while card counting is legal (as long as you do it mentally), it is not appreciated in most casinos. If you are caught counting cards then you may be ejected from the establishment, and even banned from casinos in the area. It should also be noted that because shuffling can happen without warning or any kind of visual representation in online blackjack, it can be very difficult if not impossible to count cards reliably online.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Now you know some of the basics of how to swing the odds of blackjack in your favour. Hopefully these blackjack tips help you succeed at your local tables. Just remember, don’t get carried away, these blackjack strategies help you win but in a game of chance there’s always the chance of drawing a bad hand. Be smart, and don’t be afraid to walk away from the table while you’re still ahead, especially if the deck is swinging to the dealer’s favour.