Blackjack is one of the oldest table games that you’ll find on casino floors and in online casino today. The game was established in the 1700s and has become incredibly popular since its humble beginnings. Also known as 21 Blackjack or simply ‘21’, the game has remained relatively unchanged and has starred in many movies, adverts- giving it an abundance of popularity and fame! Unlike poker and other table games, blackjack is fairly simple to learn and play and the learning gradient is relatively stable.
The Most Popular Blackjack Strategies
If you want to do well at blackjack and have a better chance of beating the dealer, it is imperative that you learn a few blackjack strategies to assist you. Blackjack is one of the only table games that are not based on luck alone. In fact, it has been proven that the correct employment of blackjack strategies can lower the edge the house has on you and greatly improve your chances of winning. So if you have the chance to better you chances, why don’t you? Below are some of the most popular blackjack strategies and systems that can help you along you journey in becoming a blackjack professional!
Even if you’ve never played blackjack in your life you have heard of this strategy because it is by far the most popular method and it is not quite a strategy, but rather it makes use of a rule, that beginners may not quite understand. You can choose to double down after you have been dealt your first two cards and you’ll need to let the dealer know that you wish to do so. You’ll be handed and additional card and you’ll have to double your bet. You now have 3 cards in total. You should really only ever double down if your original hand’s sum is 11. The reason for this is that the third of the deck results in giving you a perfect 21 while half the deck pushes up your sum to 17 at the least. Certain guides also urge you to use the double down strategy for sums of 9 and 10. This is a very basic rule with good odds and should also be made use of if the chance arises.
Splitting is another strategy that is actually based on a rule. The only time that it is possible to employ the splitting strategy is when you are dealt a pair. Now you have the option to split the pair, hence the name. If you decide to do this, you’ll be dealt an additional two cards, creating an additional hand. But it comes at a price! You’ll also need to make an additional bet for your new hand. It is very tempting to make use of the splitting rule each time you receive a pair but it is advisable to proceed with caution when splitting. Experts suggest that the best time to split is when you have a pair of 8s or a pair of Aces. These pairs give you the best chances of better hands when split, both being weak full hands but alone being strong starting hands. Splitting them gives the cards more potential.
Surrendering is quite self-explanatory. Basically you have the option to surrender you hand if you feel you have no chance at winning. You will only receive half your bet back as compensation so it is best to think carefully before surrendering. In most cases, surrendering should be your last resort and only to be used if your hand is really bad. The option to surrender is offered up by the dealer in the opening round of each game. Remember, that you have no idea what he dealer and other players have been dealt so it truly is a gamble if you decide to surrender.
Card counting is the most complicated of all the strategies and it requires concentration, mental strength and great mathematical ability. If you know your mathematical skills are below average it may be less of a hassle to just forget about this method but if you consider yourself a maths boffin, this may very well be the strategy for you.
By counting cards, you’ll need to try and keep track of all the cards that have been dealt, so that you can estimate what still may lie in the deck and make moves according to those possibilities. It is essentially impossible to know exactly which cards are left in the deck and what order they may be in but having a rough idea can give you good chances of making the correct decisions to lead to a win. The easiest method of counting cards is to simply estimate whether the cards in the deck are made up of mostly higher or lower cards.
When a dealer is playing with more than one pack, counting cards becomes far harder and virtually impossible.
Assume 10 in the Hole
This system is based on an assumption. And that assumption is that the dealer’s hand results in a sum of 10, which is in fact the most likely scenario. Based off this assumption you can surrender, bet or stick accordingly. This is a good strategy to use in accordance with other strategies but upon research it has been proven to be quite ineffective as even though 10is the most likely number, it is impossible for it to be the dealer’s hand each time and even one change in number can make a massive difference.
Mimic the Dealer
You may not know this but the dealer in a blackjack game has his own set of rules that he has to abide by, and using this strategy essentially plays by the dealer’s rules instead of making decisions in the game. This method can be very effective and it is very simple, making it great for new players. The dealer’s rules are as follows:
- Stick on 17 or higher
- Hit on 16 or lower
- No Splitting
- No Doubling
Basic Strategy Charts
You should have no problem finding blackjack strategy charts online as they are readily available. If you are truly serious about blackjack you can study these charts, which show the best possible moves to make for each and every hand, depending on a variety of factors. These charts were the result of a computer program and are said to be almost foolproof. If you have a good memory, this may be the game for you!