Blackjack is one of the unique games where the player has a fair chance over the house. This game is based on strategy rather than luck and this is one of the main reasons for its popularity. To win the blackjack, you will firstly need to learn the basic rules of the game and then switch to card counting.
Learn the Main Blackjack Rules
As you probably know, the blackjack game is very simple as you only need to come as close to 21 as possible and beat the house. However, many players don’t know when to make the right moves into the game or when to hit, double down, stand or surrender. That’s why you need to learn more about their meaning:
- Double down – when you choose to double your bet and get only one extra card
- Split – if you have two identical cards, you can split them as two hands and place separate bets
- Surrender – some casinos will also allow you to surrender your hand if you have a bad one. In this case, you can keep only half of your bet.
Turn the House Edge
Blackjack is a game where the dealer has an advantage over the player. This is because the player takes an action first without knowing the next move from the dealer or the face down card. If you exceed the value of 21, you will lose the round and bust even if the dealer does the same.
Whether you win or not depends on your reactions to the current situation on the table including your cards. Your task is to predict the face down card of the dealer and make the right decision.
Learn More about Basic Strategies
As we already stated, blackjack is a game of probabilities and you need to know how to play specific hands in order to be successful. For instance, you need to know whether to hit when you have 16 and the dealer has 10. To know which move to make you also need to study the chart and learn when to make the right moves in the game.
If you play for the first time, it would be harder to memorize all situations and know when to make the right moves. However, the more you play, the better you will understand the rules and start making decisions based on your instinct.
Learn the Rules of Various Tables before You Start Playing
Blackjack appears in various shapes and forms and different rules apply to different versions of the game. Some games will use several card decks in order to prevent players from card counting strategy.
In most cases, the dealer is required to stop at 17 even if he loses with this method. He may also be required to hit on soft 17 which includes 17 with an ace. As you may already know, the ace is counted as 1 or 11.
Before you start the game, you should know that blackjack variations that prevent you from winning in the long run should be ignored. This is the case of blackjack where the dealer has to hit on soft 17.
It is also important to avoid the machines with unstoppable shuffles in person. By playing at these machines, you will not be able to track neither your cards nor the cards of the dealer.
Check the Possible Payouts
Before placing the first bet with blackjack, you should know how you will get paid for having blackjack. If you get a natural blackjack on the first two cards, you will receive a payout of 3:2 or $3 for each $2 wagered.
Other possible results will result in smaller payouts and you should avoid them at all costs. For example, if you receive a payout of 6:5, it is worse than receiving 3:2.
Determine Your Betting Strategy
The next important step in winning blackjack includes determining a winning strategy. The best recommendation is to be persistent in your moves. Make sure to enhance your bet by one unit all the time until you win.
Additionally, you should place low-value bets after every loss and enhance a bet a little when you see that odds work in your favor.
Enhance Bet If You Have Realistic Odds
If you perceive many high cards in the blackjack deck, it is a better option as they count as ten and enable you to get more blackjacks. Just keep playing and you will realize how many good cards remain in your deck. Once you understand the winning odds, you can continue with a more aggressive game.
Don’t Buy Insurance
Blackjack is known for an insurance option where the player can purchase the protection if the dealer has a blackjack. Insurance means that you place a side wager that the dealer will hold a blackjack. In this case, you can win a side wager but lose the original one.
Although this bet provides you with some money on the short-time level, the casino will make money on the long-term level.
If you are a beginner, it would be very hard to estimate whether the dealer has a face-down card worth 10 points. On the other hand, card counters are more experienced in this matter so they logically have more information.
Counting Cards in Blackjack
If you want to be a successful blackjack player, you should learn to count cards. If you apply the Hi-Lo method, you will see that every number has a certain value. Cards from 2 to 6 count as one. Cards from 7 to 9 give zero. In the case of an ace, face cards, and ten, you will get a negative point.
The idea behind the Hi-Lo concept is to keep the entire value of the cards on the screen. The more face cards remain in the deck, you will make additional blackjacks and the dealer will bust more. Hi-Lo is a typical counting system, but there are also other systems that provide different points to particular cards such as fives and aces.
It would be best to utilize a single card deck. In the next step, you should turn over the cards and add the values. When you draw 2, 5, or an ace, you will receive a value of 1. At the end of the deck, a running total needs to be zero. You should continue with the same strategy until you are capable of keeping the total amount quickly.
Maintain a True Count
If you play blackjack at casinos, you should know that providers use multiple card decks simultaneously. The true count will take the running card count and split it by the number of current decks in the game. This count provides you with a better idea of your advantage in the betting process.
If you have a running count of three cards in a game with one deck, this result is fine. However, the same count is not so good when there are multiple decks in the game. This is because you have more cards in the game which reduces your winning chances.
Take for example a seven running count split by two decks and you will get a true count of three. On the other hand, if you have six card decks in the game, the true count will be only around one.
Make Sure to Practice when Keeping True Counts
The game of blackjack should be started with a few decks. As soon as you flip the cards over, you should do it one by one and continue with divisions. It may look hard at the beginning, but you will quickly get familiar with divisions and make it easier.
If you want to be more successful with card counting, you can use an online card simulator and practice. There are also simulators that can correct your errors and keep track of your winnings.
Maintain a Count with Distractions
As soon as you become comfortable with maintaining a true count, you need to sample mimicking the casino feel. In the beginning, you should start small. Just include music or radio to get an authentic atmosphere. Once you become more familiar with the real casino feeling, bring some friends and roommates.
It is also recommended to work out during louder events and parties. It would be great if you can make calculations while you are having conversations. Practice that and you will slowly become able to make counts in your head.
Adjust Your Bet
Once you become confident about calculations, you can continue to raise the bet based on your winnings. As you are playing, you should be natural and speak with other players and the dealer. At the same time, you should continue to increase the bets by certain amounts or lower them when you lose.
It is also recommended to leave the table if your winnings become doubtful. Bear in mind that card counting is a legal activity, but casinos are more than interested in preventing it.