An Introduction To Blackjack Strategies
The one casino game where skill matters is blackjack. With a basic strategy you can beat the house. And with some practice and study, you can lower the player odds to as little as 5%, thus making this game the one with the highest chance of winning. One other thing, the game is about math, so please leave your superstitions and winning rituals at the door. They will not help you here. And that’s the same with trying to count cards online. It doesn’t work. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some strategies that can help you win.
1. Pick The Right Online Casino
This is one of the most important aspects of play and yet many player simply forget or ignore it. The casino you choose can mean the difference between seeing your winnings or ending up with nothing. Not all casino sites are equal. You need to find a reputable one, but with a nice welcome bonus and all the well-known casino features that make the game last longer or more enjoyable. Another point is that not all online casinos are trustworthy. Sometimes, after you’re won, they are at pains to payout and make you jump through any number of hoops, only for you to discover you are not eligible. To that end it’s always best to choose a licensed casino which is regulated to make sure the game play is fair. Also you can play without the worry as to whether you’ll receive your winnings. We have drawn up a list of the best casino jackpot reviews which will give you all the low down on every casino web site.
2. Pick The Right Game Variant
In blackjack, starting well is very important. So anything that helps in this direction is going to be advantageous to you. Choosing the right game variant is really about selecting the lowest house edge. Obviously, the lower, the better. Most house edges are pretty low already. But there are some online casinos with offering of 1% – 2%. If you are playing to win, then we suggest that you stay well clear of these. Take a good look at the table as there is a lot of helpful information there. For example, a table that pays at 3 to 2 is going to make you more money than one that pays at 6 to 5. Also a table that requires the dealer to hit on a soft 17 will be more beneficial for the casino. To help with you choice, we’ve produced a couple of simple guides: How to Play Blackjack and A Blackjack Guide.
3. Blackjack: Know The Game
Because there are as many variations of blackjack as there are rules, one fixed strategy may not work for all of them. We suggest that you read the help section of each game before you start to play. Here are some points you should be looking for:
How much does a blackjack pay?
The number of decks are in the shoe?
Can you double on any two cards or only with specific total?
Can you split your hand and up to how many times?
Are you allowed to double after splitting a hand?
Are you allowed to hit split aces?
Is there the option to surrender and in which cases?
Does the dealer hit a soft seventeen?
Is there a 5-, 6- or a 7-card Charlie?
Also be aware that some games carry the same name, but in reality are totally different. This can also apply to their respective rules and house edge. So always check the small print. Take a look at our guide on Blackjack Rules.
4. Blackjack: When To Hit
If you have a hand worth 8 points or less, then be sure to hit. Double down or stand if your cards show between 9 – 16. And finally, always stand if your cards show from 17 – 20.
5. Blackjack: When To Split
If you happen to have pairs of 4s, 5s or 10s, then don’t split. But if you have a pair of 8s, then split. And don’t even think of standing on numbers 12 to 16 if the dealer has a total of 7 or higher. Always split aces. Also don’t bother taking insurance as later in the game the odds will not be in your favor.
6. When To Double-Down
This is probably one of the best ways of reducing the house edge. If you double your stake when you’re in a strong position, you are effectively turning the odds away from the dealer and towards yourself. Generally, you should always double-down on 11, except when you’re up against an ace. You should also double-down on a 10, except when there’s an ace or the dealer is holding a 10. Likewise, double-down on 9 against a dealer’s 3, 4, 5, and 6. Be aware that some casinos restrict doubling to 9s, 10s and 11s.
7. When To Surrender
Surrendering allows the player to escape from a tough position, but he must forfeit half of his bet. On the whole you should surrender if you have a hard 15 and the dealer has a 10. Also if you find yourself with a hard 16 and the dealer has either a 9, 10 or an ace.
8. Understand The Difference Between Hard And Soft Hands
In blackjack an ace can be valued at either 1 or 11. A hand without an ace, or one where the ace counts as 1, is known as a “hard hand.” conversely a hand where the ace is valued as 11 is called a “Soft Hand.” This difference is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly it will define the rules under which the dealer will play. If you look at the table rules, you’ll see a sign saying, “Dealer Must Hit Sort 17.” In another game it might read, “Dealer Must Stand On All 17.” This information tells you how the dealer will hit or stand in any situation. Keep in mind that a soft hand is the one you want. With this it’s always possible to hit without fear of going bust.
9. The Oscar Betting System
The aim of the Oscar betting system is to win at least one chip. There are three basic rules on how to use the system
1. When you win a hand, increase your bet by one chip
2. Whenever you lose a hand, play the same amount you’ve just bet
3. If you’ve made money in the session, withdraw your winning and start all over again
This strategy is all about limiting your losses. It prevents you from chasing them with ever increasing bets. Also, you’re not risking any winnings, as the only money bet is the money you came in with. If you make a few wins in a row, then you’ll cancel out any losses you might of suffered, as you’re doubling your money after the first win.
Be sure to check out our Blackack Glossary. It’ll help you understand all the terms and jargon used in the game.