Blackjack Strategy – Are You Ready to Take on the House?

The interest in 21 gave rise to a proportionally big number of blackjack strategies. We took the time to research the better ones, having every intention of helping you take your game to the next level. Our fascination with the subject has resulted in this thorough overview that we believe will teach you how to play the game for real money.
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Last Updated on 6 Oct 2020 by Chief Editor Harrison Newton

We don’t fear mentioning the words ‘strategy’ and blackjack odds in the same breath because, as astute players, we take into consideration the one and the other. Why? This is the best way of going about taking on the house. There are bound to be times when even the best of strategies won’t do as well as expected, but in a game of probability such as blackjack, a solid strategy also happens to be the only cure to unwanted volatility in the results you’re experiencing. Learn how to be nimble, adapt and overcome difficult situations with this exhaustive online blackjack strategy overview.

Why You Need an Online Blackjack Strategy to Be Successful?

Let’s set one thing straight – you’re only to benefit from incorporating a blackjack system into your game plan. You’d better seriously consider using one yourself. As an additional small incentive for you, listed below are some of the benefits you’ll reap after finding what system works best for you.

Every single one of the abovementioned arguments ties up nicely with the intent of playing responsively and from a position of advantage. Essentially, your goal is to adopt an approach that will serve you well in taking rational decisions according to the course of the game.

A Beginner’s Blackjack Betting Strategy – Strategizing Against the House

Even the most sophisticated of plans can’t substitute having a common understanding of the game. That is knowing when what move has the best chances of success. The four most basic actions in a game of 21 are obviously Hit, Split, Double Down, and Stand. Mastering the use of those to a tee will in and of itself transform you into an expert. Making any of the moves, of course, is done on the assumption that it will bring you the closest to the coveted 21. Let’s take a look now at how things should work, at least on paper.

  • .Hit You should be extremely careful with the double-edged sword that is hitting. You are never to hit anything above 16. That includes a good soft hand such as 17 and above.

  • .Split As a rule of thumb, you’re supposed always to split aces and eights. Never split tens or any pre-maid good hand (i.e. other variants of 20).

  • .Double Down Double down on the assumption that there are plenty of cards left in the shoe that will add your hand up to 20 or 21. Doubling down on 11 will pay off in the long run.

  • .Stand In simple terms, you should stand on 17 or higher. No matter if the dealer’s face card is an ace or a ten. In the case, your hand is 16 or lower, standing becomes optional depending on the dealer’s face-up card.

The only reason you would take insurance against the dealer having 21 is when statistically their face-down card is more likely to be a ten than anything else. Other than that, staking additional money on insurance is generally a bad idea as far as the odds that the casino gives are concerned. Insurance pays 2:1, and the likelihood of the dealer having 21 when showing an ace is 9:4, which makes it a bad side bet.

Blackjack Strategy Chart – Not Unbeatable but Close Enough

Provided that an element of chance is involved in all card games, it’s a good practice to have a strategy chart handy to give you a general direction in the game. Not only that, abiding by the rules of mathematical probability, you are going to avoid falling into the trap of the “hot streaks” fallacy. Not to mention how helpful a chart can be if you’re new to the game. In such case, you can bank on the pragmatism of a well thought out blackjack system card. Despite the small differences in advice, they are quite easy to follow and help a ton in a sticky situation.

Learn to Play Blackjack: Stand, Hit or Surrender?

Before using this or any other system, make sure it’s up to the job. These are the things you should look out for. How many decks there are in the shoe, whether the dealer stands on soft 17 or not, what your double down options are. The example above is designed for a game played with from 4 to 8 decks where the dealer stands on soft 17. We’re very much aware that a single system can’t factor in the particulars of all blackjack variations, that’s why we encourage you to visit our < a href="/blackjack/strategy/chart/">blackjack strategy chart page and broaden your knowledge on the matter.

What’s the Best Strategy? – Blackjack Card Counting

What’s card counting? If you’re just as clueless, there’s probably a vital piece of information you’re missing. In blackjack, a card that was played previously can’t be dealt again until the whole shoe is played through. Then a new freshly shuffled shoe is brought into play. This dynamic is what gives grounds for various card counting techniques. They all share one thing in common, which is you only have to keep count of the “good cards” vs “bad cards” ratio. There are different card counting systems in practice. Below we discuss the ones we think attend to the needs of the average gambler.

Hi Lo Card Counting Method

As established previously, the Hi Lo method functions in accordance with the high cards to low cards ratio. To put it simply, when there are more high cards than there are ‘small’, you are welcome to place bigger wagers. Practitioners of the Hi Lo method assign values from -1 to 1 to the cards depending on their kind. The cards from 2 to 6 get a value of 1; 7 to 9 are worth 0, and from ten to Ace get a -1. All you do is sum the value of all cards that are and have been in play for the current shoe and act on accordingly depending on whether the result is a positive or a negative number.

Hi Lo Card Counting System Instructions

We think you could use a bit of clarification. BC or ‘betting correlation’, indicates how accurate of a system you’re dealing with. PE (Playing Efficiently) denotes the effectiveness of a system at correctly allowing for all possible deviations. Insurance Correlation (IC) is the potency measurement of a system at deducing when buying insurance is beneficial. Bal? shows whether the system is balanced (counting starts at 0 and ends at 0).

The Knockout Blackjack System

K-O (knockout) is a typical example of an unbalanced system (count begins at 0). Among other things that it does right, this method enables you to know when the number of high cards is higher than the number of low cards. In other words, what the right time to raise the stakes is. Similar to the Hi Lo technique, knockout gives the low cards a value of 1 and all tens and aces a value of -1. Counting all cards in one deck in this manner will mean that you have a positive balance of +4 at the end.

Strategy Chart for the Knockout Blackjack System

BC, PE, IC, and Bal? parameters are quite similar to those of the Hi-Lo method, with minor variations. The high Betting Correlation of 98 is a sign of a solid yet versatile strategy. Since the other parameters carry practically the same weight, we’d like to point your attention at Bal. As expected, when the sum of an entire deck of cards is different than 0 (in this case it’s 4) the system isn’t balanced.

If ain’t broke don’t fix it – the old saying goes. And this rings so true in the case of blackjack strategies. By this, we mean that opting for classic blackjack could very well be your best move and here’s why. For starters, how does a 99.65% RTP sound? It’s good by any standard. Blackjack pays the highest – 3:2, and the dealer stands on soft 17s. The exact game we have in mind is brought to you by NetEnt and can be played at our top casino for real money play. The rules incorporated into the software also enable multi-hand play.

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Practice to Your Heart’s Content – Play Free Blackjack

We are big on the ‘try before you buy’ idea and that’s what we recommend you abide by. Even the best blackjack sites will be no good if you lack first-hand experience, right? Now is the time to correct that. Below this paragraph, you’ll find a fully functional piece of classic blackjack software brought to you by NetEnt. The game can be played for free, meaning that regardless of whether you win or lose, the outcome will not affect your finances.

Free-to-Play Online Blackjack Game

Besides, the simple blackjack chart you can try out one of the card counting strategies mentioned earlier. If you’d allow us to pitch in, our choice would be Hi Lo technique, because it seems the most uncomplicated and easy to execute. Remember to double down on 11, split eights, and not to take insurance, and you’ll be geared up for one clean game. Take your time and don’t give in to frustration, if it were easy, we’d all be millionaires. There’s no pit boss to breathe down your neck so, try to make it count and bring out the best of your card counting ability.

Real Money Play – What Is the Perfect Blackjack Strategy?

Having the right strategy is only half of it, as it stands, signing with the right operator is just as important. We have a name in mind so let’s cut to the chase. The Grand Ivy is one of the front-runners we’ve been keeping an eye on. Its selection of casino games is not only a rare find but it also lends itself to the strategies already mentioned here. The wealth of table games really allows you to keep your options open and change track with a game of blackjack online for money whenever you feel like it. To be frank, the most important thing that earns The Grand Ivy the checkmark is its welcome bonus, the details of which are listed below.

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The operator in question is coming along in leaps and bounds and its gambling service stacks up to the best in the industry in pretty much all respects. This becomes very apparent at the sight of the casino’s welcome offer. Bear in mind, there’s an abundance of regular promotions where that one came from. To top things off, the world-class live casino too must be mentioned. It’s the perfect place to experience an uncontrived casino atmosphere from the comfort of your own living room.

Other Blackjack Variants and Casinos You Might Want to Consider

Pinning your hopes on just one blackjack strategy or variant is a capital mistake we can’t allow you to make. What we did is choose three different game versions that are also worthy of your consideration. Double Attack and Blackjack Surender put their unique spins on the original rules. Not only that, the two variants together with Double Attach are top-notch Playtech software products with an RTP of over 99.50%. Not only is the RTP good but there are plenty of other virtues to be found in these three games gameplay-wise.

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Blackjack Staking Plan – The Best Way to Distribute Your Bets

Now that you have ample knowledge of how to spot advantage bets, we’ll address the elephant in the room, which is how much to bet exactly. You want a sensible betting plan that takes into account the outcome of your last wager, such are referred to as ‘progressive’ and are a fantastic way of playing responsibly. There are other advantages to placing wagers in a systematic manner. The takeaway from such style of play, we summarized in the four key points listed below.

  1. Betting strategies eliminate fluctuations in your stack size
  2. You can predict your wins/losses
  3. You don’t rely overly on luck
  4. Good bankroll management practice

Those of you that are still tempted to chase losses, we’d advise thinking better of it. At the same go, we want to debunk the myth that doubling bet after losing a hand is a particularly good idea. This strategy, also known as Martingale, is similar to the brute-force attack in cryptography – pretty straightforward but not especially effective. We are going to see why in the next paragraph. A more sensible strategy will give you better control over your losses and the ability to lock in your profit. Sure enough, there are different techniques so let’s take a look at two of the more popular ones.

The Martingale Blackjack Strategy

The Martingale betting system owes its notoriety to the common misconception that it’s unbeatable. Here’s how it works. Regardless of the game, the player ought to back even odds and double their bet after losing. While it seems reasonable, staking in this fashion, players may find themselves in a situation where they can’t afford the next wager. The truth of the matter is that when playing at a casino, the expected value is negative because of how the house edge works. With the Martingale’s promise for a small profit equal to the initial stake size and the house edge counteracting that profit, we can say that expected value is somewhere around zero.

2-1-2 Strategy – Reap Steady Profits Playing Safe

Gamblers who are all about winning streaks take kindly to the 2-1-2 system. This technique suggests that a fixed increment is added to the initial bet upon winning. That pattern continues until a loss occurs. Upon losing the player must start over with the basic bet size. This is a nice way to protect your winnings and learn to gamble responsibly. One significant downside about this system is that a player must do a whole lot of winning to turn a profit. The 2-1-2 doesn’t have a cure for unlucky streaks, it simply provides a way of cutting losses.

Blackjack Strategy Questions

Hang around gamblers long enough, and you quickly realize they won’t find a peace of mind until after the invention of the perfect blackjack system. So far, there’s nothing of this sort that we are aware of, so let’s proceed with answering some questions of topical importance. There’s a lot of value in information, especially when it comes to gambling.

😎 How to memorise blackjack basic strategy?

Learning how to recite the guidelines of a strategy from your memory can be easier than it looks. All you have to do is separate it in logical segments and try memorising them step by step. By taking things in your stride, you'll have very realistic chances of reaching your goal in due time.

🎴 How effective is blackjack basic strategy?

Following a chart closely will help you use correctly the full arsenal of moves that are allowed in the game. This can, in turn, negate up to 7% of the house edge and that's pretty significant in a game of numbers such as blackjack. Almost all charts look the same, so it's fair to talk about them in general.

❓ Why is card counting illegal?

First of all, it's a matter of where. One can get in trouble for card counting in a land-based casino, but not online. Online casinos have a way of dealing with the potential threat that card counters pose. Practitioners of this technique get banned on the grounds of accusations of using an unfair advantage illicitly for their own benefit.

🏆 How to play blackjack in Vegas?

Though not the perfect solution a blackjack crash course can do you a lot of good if you are to play in Vegas. For starters, you will need to find a blackjack table. Those will have the words "Dealer must Hit…", "Insurance Pays…" on them. As for playing – make sure to hit (draw a card) whenever the chances of going over 21 are the lowest.

⏱️ When to hit in blackjack?

It would be wiser to follow inflexible hitting rules as those specified in our blackjack chart. If you want a general direction to follow – hit anything below 12. At least, in this way you won't bust. The opposite of hitting – standing – means that you are content with your hand and feel ready to take your chances.

Get to Know Blackjack Even Better

We shed light on some of the most popular blackjack strategies in existence, but there’s still a long way to go before you can call yourself a true expert. The good news is it’s just a matter of “when”. We have just the right read to help you achieve the goal of becoming that blackjack-savvy person. Take your pick between live dealer, bonus and individual game reviews. It’s high time you really get a grip on the “playing blackjack” business. All the quick links you need are right below this paragraph. You might be interested in another card game that is a favourite of many though. We are talking about the baccarat live online, of course!

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