Blackjack Strategy

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The Best Blackjack Strategies

Blackjack is a widely spread casino game based on counting card values to determine the winner. It is believed to have originated from Spain, reaching massive popularity in the early 20th-century United States. The game involves playing against a dealer, and it is heavily dependent on strategy and the gambler’s decisions. Unlike other casino activities, blackjack actually follows a mathematically proven model, meaning that you can build a solid blackjack strategy and sustain your winnings in the long term.

What Is Blackjack Basic Strategy?

Before discussing the blackjack basic strategy and looking for the best online casinos in Canada, where you can play blackjack, it is essential to understand the actions available to players. Remember that different casinos may impose varying blackjack rules, which are not considered in the basic strategy. After receiving your initial hand, you can make one of the following steps:

  • Hit. “Hitting” in blackjack terms means requesting an additional card.
  • Stand. “Standing” refers to taking no more cards.
  • Double down. This option allows you to increase an initial bet (no more than by 100%) and receive one additional card, but it obliges you to stand until the round ends.
  • Split. If you have a pair of cards with identical values, you can create two independent hands.
  • Surrender. This step is not available in all gambling houses. A player can surrender as their first decision only.

Knowing the available options allows you to create a simple plan based on logic and common sense. For instance, you clearly won’t hit when your hand’s value is around 19 or 20 and won’t stand if this number is 5 or 6. But what about more complex cases, such as a “soft” 17? What should you do when the total value of your cards is 15 or 16? Well, this is the perfect time to apply the basic blackjack strategy. It is a decent choice for newcomers since it leaves no space for a mistake whatsoever. This method dictates exactly what a player must do in each situation. Every combination of hands is considered to provide you with reliable suggestions and profitable odds. This blackjack strategy can be summarized in the following chart:

Blackjack Strategy

The above chart provides enough information for those learning how to play blackjack, but more advanced players should look for better strategies. The base betting strategy decreases the house edge to around 0.50%, which is significantly lower than what other casino games offer. However, this method doesn’t consider multiple variables, such as the number of decks being used or particular rules imposed by the casino. Any deviation from traditional blackjack rules can influence this strategy tremendously.

Martingale

Martingale method is commonly applied in games with a 50/50 chance of winning and even payouts, such as roulette or slots. This betting strategy is known to be aggressive, so it would suit the preferences of risky players who aren’t afraid of losing money. When using the Martingale method, a gambler doubles up their bet after each loss and returns to the initial sum once they win. Several consequent losses may be detrimental to your wallet. Let’s assume that your initial wager is set at $10. After losing just five bets, the total will increase to $160. Add all the losses that had occurred before you reached this point, and you’ll see that the total sum you have to invest is $310.
Despite being risky, the Martingale method provides multiple advantages. It makes the game exciting since you can win a huge sum. The Martingale doesn’t require you to memorize complex strategies or perform any complicated mathematical operations while playing. Still, the Martingale strategy isn’t a smart way to start your professional gambling career, as it involves making risky decisions and requires users to possess significant financial reserves.

Card Counting

Unlike the above-mentioned Martingale strategy, card counting is applied in blackjack only. It involves some strategic thinking, in-depth knowledge of gaming theory, and a significant amount of time to master the method. However, it’s not like card counting can be comprehended by math prodigies only. This skill is totally available to an average punter, though they would need to practice a lot before they can succeed. Card counting is a popular strategy among professional players, as it provides them with a long-term, sustainable advantage over the house and allows turning betting into a source of income.

To use card counting with maximum profit, you should know that it is, essentially, a tracking system. In most casinos, cards are dealt out from a shuffling machine, which guarantees fair play for everybody. The machine can include more than one deck – the more decks there are, the higher the house advantage would be. Commonly, there would be no more than eight decks, so you should be able to keep a record of up to 416 cards. Clearly, there is no need to memorize each one of them; just add and subtract numerical values when you see certain cards: add 1 point for 2 through 6, add 0 for 7 – 9, and subtract 1 for any ace, picture, or ten.

Remember that a casino would never reveal the number of decks in a shoe; you’ll need to figure that out yourself. The hard part of this method is finding a so-called true count. It is derived through dividing the current count by the presumptive number of decks still in the shoe. Once you’re done with this part, you shall receive a pretty accurate way to predict the outcomes of upcoming rounds.

Main Tips for Winning in Blackjack

Blackjack is a gambling activity, so, despite all strategies and tips, it’s still highly unpredictable. However, you can (and should) use the following methods to decrease the house edge:

  • Avoid insurance bets. If you want to win sustainably, forget about insurance bets. They seem to be very profitable, but, in fact, they don’t help secure your funds at all.
  • Always read the guides carefully. Otherwise, you may miss one rule and end up losing a ton of money. It is especially important for online casino players since gambling sites offer a wide array of blackjack types.
  • Don’t spend too much cash. If you want to benefit from blackjack, you’ll need to learn how to manage your budget and avoid going over it.
  • Make use of 3:2 payouts. 3:2 is the most profitable deal you can find, so you should look for payouts like this one. On the other hand, 6:5 odds should be avoided.
  • Be careful when claiming a bonus. A seemingly perfect offer may actually involve a huge rollover or other unpleasant surprises. Analyze the bonuses carefully before making a decision.

Remember that blackjack is based on skill, so as long as you have access to a computer (or a mobile phone), you should practice online for free to come to the real game well prepared. Consider going through a strategy drill to test your knowledge, and don’t hesitate to ask more experienced punters for advice.

Conservative Blackjack Strategy: Win Little by Little

Although some players call this blackjack strategy inefficient and hardly profitable, this opinion is far from true. The main thing about the conservative style is the preservation of your finances. This blackjack strategy involves starting with the least possible bet and increasing it when you win. After every loss, the wager should return back to the minimum. This method would suit more careful punters who prefer avoiding high risks. It’s also favored by newcomers, as conservative betting helps them stay in the game longer.

Blackjack Charts

Blackjack charts are utilized to teach basic strategies to newbies. They provide a convenient way to describe combinations and steps you need to make to win a blackjack round. Each line in a chart can be described with a phrase, so punters can organize information in any preferred way. The efficiency of charts was scientifically proved with a computer simulation of several hundred million blackjack games, so they are quite trustworthy.

The charts can be compared with a space shuttle – they enhance your skill and understanding of the game (reaching the Earth’s orbit) but won’t take you to the outer space directly. You should combine these charts with card counting and a proper betting method to win in blackjack. However, memorizing the charts is a great way to familiarize yourself with the game’s mechanics and avoid losing money while learning how to play.

FAQ

How to win at blackjack?

A decent blackjack strategy should combine all elements that can assist you in predicting the game’s outcomes. This includes card counting, memorizing combinations, studying the house edge and ways to reduce it.

Where are blackjack rules better, online or in land-based venues?

Video blackjack resembles the traditional game in terms of rules. The choice between web and live casinos is solely a matter of personal preference. However, online betting sites often provide punters with valuable deposit bonuses, such as free spins on different slots.

Is online blackjack legal?

Depending on your country of residence, the answer may vary. Check the local laws for an overview of gambling regulations in your region.