Blackjack Winning Strategies
Blackjack is one of those games that uses basic strategy. Some are well-known, while others require a bit of insight. You will be fighting the house edge, so you need to play your cards right to make a profit. With these winning strategies and the right cards rolling your way, you won’t have to break a sweat to break the bank or at least break even.
Quick Recap On Blackjack Basics
The objective of a game of blackjack is to win by getting a hand total closer to 21 than the dealer. Going over 21 is considered a bust, and you automatically lose the game. At the blackjack table every player is dealt two cards and has the option to make one of six moves:
Hit: Request the dealer to give you another card.
Stand: Take no more cards from the dealer and maintain the hand that you currently have.
Split: Divide your original hand into two separate hands when your original hand consists of two cards of the same value. Then place an identical wager on the second hand, essentially doubling your bet.
Double Down: Decide to double the amount of your bet and get an extra card, after which you will have to stand.
Surrender: Forfeit your hand before the game ends, if you think you are likely to lose. You will surrender half your bet and keep the other half.
Take Insurance: Bet on the dealer getting a perfect blackjack (Ace +10) when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. The insurance bet has to be half the value of your original bet.
Split Aces & Eights
This has been a long-standing rule among expert blackjack players. Whenever you are dealt a hand of aces or eights, the best move is splitting the cards into two separate hands.
When you split aces, you have a higher chance of getting a 10 value card on either hand. A pair of eights equals 16, which is an unfavorable hand to have because the dealer will usually stand at 17.
When you split eights, you can then create new pairs and act on them accordingly. Hit again if you get a low-value card, stand if you get a higher value card, double down, or even split a second time if you are dealt another eight value card.
Use A Basic Strategy Card
Blackjack basic strategy is a list of rules on how to play every hand that lets you minimize the house edge on each round. Every player may not be able to commit them all to memory before heading to the casino, but with strategy cards, one wouldn’t need to.
These plastic cards contain a chart that tells you the best move to make for every hand dealt to you. Luckily, strategy cards are legal on the casino floor, so it’s best to always keep them handy.
Stand When Your Hand Could Bust Against The Dealer’s Card
The dealer’s hand plays the principal role in blackjack because unless you bust, whether you win or lose depends on the dealer’s card total. When the dealer’s face-up card is a six, five, or four, it is best to stand even if you have a weak hand. The dealer will have to hit again, so the trick is to let them bust before you do. If he or she does go over 21, you automatically get a payout.
- With a total of 16 or less, the dealer must hit
- With a total of 18 or more, the dealer must stand
- If the dealer has a soft 17 (an ace + six), he or she must hit
- If the dealer has a hard 17 (card pair without an ace), he or she must stand
Use Progressive Betting – For High Rollers
This is an advanced strategy developed by mathematics gurus for those who have a sizable bankroll at their disposal. The Martingale and Paroli systems are common progressive betting patterns that increase your chances of leaving the table with a profit.
The Martingale system, for instance, tells you to double your stake every time you lose. At first, it may seem counterproductive, but the concept is that there is a high probability of you winning at least once during a gaming session. And by doubling the size of your bet, you cover up for all previous losses when you do win. It is a risky way to play, but as they say, high risks beget high rewards.
Use Conservative Betting – For Low Rollers
This approach is the opposite of the progressive betting system. Here you are invited to raise your bet every time you win. This way, you only bet money that you can afford to lose. For low rollers, this is a safe method that helps you prolong your bankroll and extend gameplay.
Play At A Table That Fits Your Bankroll
This is pretty straightforward to understand. If you are a high roller, you should play at high stakes blackjack tables, and if you have a limited bankroll, then look for tables that offer the minimum stakes.
By settling at a high stakes table when you have a smaller bankroll, it is almost impossible to make a profit because your funds may be depleted before getting the chance to win. Make sure to confirm that the stakes available at a table suit your bankroll needs for you to get the best out of your experience.
Stick To Your Betting Limits
Before you sit at the table, set the amount you want to spend on wagering, and do not exceed it. Also, try to plan how much of your bankroll you should stake on each hand. We recommend 10% or less.
This way, you can play for longer, which in turn increases your chances of winning on a successive hand. The thrill of the game can be quite tempting, so a practical tip is to take to your heels the second you earn a considerable profit.
Blackjack Betting Errors To Avoid
To err is human, but blackjack isn’t very forgiving. If you are playing to win, there are a couple of don’ts to keep in mind.
Don’t Chase Your Losses
As much as you strategize, you will have more than one unsuccessful hand in blackjack. Using strategy doesn’t mean you won’t lose; it just ensures that you win more.
When you do lose, do not bet compulsively to get lost money back. Maintain a clear head and stick with your strategy. Sometimes you may need to walk away, losing less is also a form of winning.
Don’t Count Cards
Counting cards is a system where you can guess the next card that will be dealt by keeping track of the cards already on the table. The Hi-Lo system is the most popular method. When the count is “High,” it means the deck has more high-value cards left in it and vice versa.
It’s a fun system to learn, but it can be difficult to keep up with the calculations in a live casino environment. Even experts have a hard time with this strategy. If you lose track of the count, it could destabilize your entire play, and you know what that means for your bankroll. More so, counting cards is not allowed in many casinos, so we do not recommend it.
Don’t Bet Insurance
Side bets can be very tempting because they don’t cost much and serve as an extra means of increasing your winning chances. In reality, they are the exact opposite, and for blackjack, the insurance bet is your worst enemy.
It doesn’t cost as much as the actual bet, but over time, it depletes your bankroll. Worse still, the house edge on it is ridiculous because you almost never win an insurance bet. Certain UK casinos have already thrown out this option since players stopped using it, and we advise you to steer clear as well.
It’s time to start putting these strategies to the test. Blackjack is arguably the most intriguing card game ever invented, and if you’re after excitement and a bit of a challenge, you won’t be disappointed. Head to the casino or visit your favorite online site and get in on the action now.