Published: fri 8 nov 2019 | Updated: wed 23 jun 2021
Three Keys to Better Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the oldest casino games around, but it is also one of the most popular, and every online casino which offers table games is certain to have at least one version of the game available for players to enjoy. One of the reasons why Blackjack has never waned in popularity is the fact that it is one of the few casino games in which the skill of the player can influence his or her chances of winning.
We can’t go into the finer details of playing Blackjack in a single article such as this, but what we can do is provide three keys that will serve as a starting point to help you to play better Blackjack and hopefully win more often at the tables.
Key #1 – Play Standard Blackjack
There are plenty of Blackjack variations which have been developed in recent years. Most of these variations are based on standard rules, but may also offer additional side bet opportunities or other features. These games can be a lot of fun to play, but the odds of winning any given hand when playing a Blackjack variant may not be the same as when playing the standard game.
For this reason, if you want to maximise your chance of winning you would do well to completely ignore any and all side bets and focus only on the standard bets. Ideally, choose a Blackjack game which doesn’t offer side bets at all, but rather presents the game in the simplest and most standard form possible. If you can find a game which uses a single deck of cards (as opposed to a multi-deck shoe) then that would be even better.
Key #2 – Learn Basic Strategy
The decisions that you make at every turn in a game of Blackjack can alter your odds of winning quite dramatically. If you want to reduce the house edge that the casino has over you to an absolute minimum, it is essential that you make the right decision every step of the way, which means that you must know exactly when to stand, when to hit, when to split, when to double down, and so on.
All of that might sound like a tall order, but it can be made much easier by learning something called Basic Strategy. This is a proven strategy which is usually presented in the form of a chart showing every possible starting player hand on one axis and every possible dealer up-card on the other axis. By consulting the Basic Strategy chart and looking at the cell where these two axes intersect, you will see how you should play the hand. For example, if you have been dealt two cards totalling 15 and the dealer’s up-card is a 6, most strategy charts would advise you to stand.
There are some variations between Basic Strategy charts, and those variations will usually reflect the particular game conditions that have been assumed, such as the number of decks in play and whether or not the dealer must stand on a Soft 17 and higher as well as a Hard 17 and higher. The strategy presented on most charts will be based on statistical analysis that highlights the decisions which lead to the best overall success over the long term, so you can play with maximum confidence that the strategy is proven.
Finding a chart that you can refer to when playing online is a simple matter of visiting your favourite search engine and looking for images which match the term ‘Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart’.
Key #3 – Be Patient
Even if you play according to Basic Strategy, you cannot possibly expect to win every hand, so don’t bet as though you will. Instead, be patient. Use modest stakes until you have learned to play in a strategic manner, and only then consider turning things up a notch or two.
These Three Keys to Better Blackjack won’t guarantee that you have a winning session, but they will certainly maximise your chances. Enjoy your time at the tables and good luck!
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