So, you’re ready to take your game to the next level? Great, because an understanding of blackjack betting strategies is the best way to do just that. While everyone claims to have discovered the ultimate playing tactic, you’ll only find the blackjack strategies that work here. In short, it’s all about knowing how to react optimally to any hand you’re dealt. Developing this knowledge will require plenty of practice and patience, but it will be worth your while in the long run.
Before you go about creating charts or fabricating flashcards, it’s best to lay the foundations of your game plan first. Strip things back to the basics and consider how much time and money you’re willing (and able) to invest in the game. Consider which blackjack variant you’d like to try as that will certainly influence how you play and what your wins will pay. Most importantly, set yourself realistic and reasonable amounts for the maximum you wish to win and the minimum you’re willing to lose.
A calculated plan of action is what separates a lucky player from a skilled one. If you’re serious about becoming the latter, then the discipline required is more than worth the reward. Keep the goals you’ve set for yourself in mind as the dealer distributes the deck and your playing experience will remain worthwhile throughout. Remember not to get caught up in any unexpected wins or losses. Take each round as it comes and learn from it – it’s what a pro player would do.
With that in mind, settle in and scroll on to discover what the best blackjack strategies are and how they can work for you.
The simplest way to hone your skills is to adopt basic blackjack strategy. In essence, this is based on assessing your hand and the dealer’s upcard before making the optimal decision – that is whether to hit, stand, double or split. To refresh your memory to hit means asking for another card, whilst if you choose to stand you won’t receive an additional one. This is the final decision you’ll make during a round.
These decisions are mathematically proven and were developed using a computer simulation of millions of blackjack hands. One of the first of its kind was developed by Julian Braun, a computer genius and Blackjack Hall of Fame inductee. He used Edward Thorp’s calculations (more on this infamous blackjack player later) to improve upon his own playing techniques and thus develop basic strategy as we know it today.
Although the analysis of a casino game in such an in-depth way may seem intimidating, it’s easy to keep up with this approach and apply it as you play. Basic strategy is typically displayed in a table or blackjack strategy card (there’s one for you further down) that compares the player’s hand to the dealer’s upcard. More importantly, it lists the decision most likely to yield a successful outcome. You might be thinking “Great. Sounds simple enough but how can I memorise all these rules?”. Well, here’s the thing – you don’t need to. Since the dealer can’t actually see you when you’re playing casino games online, there’s no reason not to keep these cheat sheets handy. So, here’s your very own reference guide of the most rewarding ways to bet in blackjack.
H = Hit; S = Stand; D-H = Double if possible, otherwise Hit; D-S = Double if possible, otherwise Stand
The charts above apply to blackjack games with the following rules only:
Played with up to 8 decks;
Dealer always stands on 17;
Double Down on any 2 initial cards;
Split initial cards of equal value;
Only one Split per hand;
Single card to each Split Ace;
No Double Down after Split (NDAS);
Insurance offered when dealer shows an Ace;
Blackjack pays 3:2;
Insurance pays 2:1;
Push game when hands tie.
Sticking to the recommendations in the table will offer numerous advantages to your game. Firstly, this is the simplest of all blackjack strategies to familiarise yourself with and apply. It’s simple and easy to pick up – essentially a handy how to play guide. Once you get the hang of using it, the application of correct and consistent strategy lowers the house edge considerably to around 1%. Proper application will also let you lose the least amount of money over time. So, be sure to master basic blackjack strategy before moving on as this method lays the foundation to playing the game like an expert.
The next step in developing your skills is mastering perfect strategy. The idea of perfection may seem unattainable but don’t let the name fool you. All this approach does is include rules for doubling down, pair splitting, and insurance and even money strategy. Let’s take a brief look at each one.
Onto the next strategy. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll remember the mention of the always split aces and eights rule in the how to play blackjack guide. Well, that rule is basically the foundation of pair splitting strategy. When the rule applies, and you’re dealt two cards of the same value, you’ll have the choice to split them into two separate hands by making another bet equal to the original one you placed.
Unfortunately, this approach to playing is often misunderstood by players who are just starting out and thus they split cards carelessly. Find out if the game includes the DAS or NDAS rule and then use the appropriate table below to guide your game.
The double down rule in blackjack allows you to double your initial wager once you’ve been dealt your first two cards. To compensate for this, the house will only allow you to receive one more card. Whether you choose to apply this option or not will depend on the hand you’ve been dealt compared to the dealer’s upcard.
Keep the tables below as your reference guide once you find a blackjack table with the double down rule available. Just make sure the rules of the table and those of the game are identical.
Congratulations on completing the LiveCasino.com Blackjack induction! Your new-found knowledge of blackjack betting strategies is still fresh so why not put it into practice? Pick from the tables available on LiveCasino.com, keep our guides handy and you’ll be playing like an expert in no time. Good luck!