Strategies in Blackjack
Unlike most other casino games, in blackjack, your decisions can and do affect gameplay, which will have an impact on whether you win or lose. For this reason, strategies in blackjack are actually more effective than in any other game and can significantly boost your chances of winning. In blackjack, the strategies actually apply to gameplay and not just betting. So, these strategies will help you increase your chances of beating the house, instead of just being strategies to more effectively manage your money, like with roulette. Keep in mind, though, that betting strategies will also help because effective money and betting management is vital.
Gameplay Blackjack Strategies
When playing blackjack, you can adopt a number of different strategies to boost your chances of winning. These strategies generally provide mathematical guidance on when to split, stand, hit, double down, or surrender.
The most popular blackjack strategy is dubbed the basic strategy and is one you definitely should know well before attempting to play blackjack. It has a series of rules you should always have on you, so you know what to do, even though you probably want to learn them by heart.
Thus, the basic strategy is made up of a series of sub-strategies, each of which assumes that the only information you have is the dealer’s card that is face-up, also known as the upcard, and your own cards.
On sub-strategy is the surrender strategy, which outlines when you should employ the surrender rule. Surrendering means that you think you have very small chances of winning so you surrender to the dealer, which means you can keep half your wager.
Another sub-strategy is the splitting strategy, which provides mathematical advice on when you should and shouldn’t split. Splitting is designed to reduce the house edge, but many players make very poor decisions when it comes to splitting. For example, many players will immediately split a pair of 10s, which is something this strategy clearly states you should never do.
Then there are the hit and stand strategies, which basically tell you when you should hit and when you should stand based on your cards as well as the cards of the dealer. For example, is that if you have a total between 12 and 16, you should only draw a card if the dealer has a card worth 7 points or more. If you have a total of 12, though, you can draw a card even if the dealer has a 2 or a 3.
Then we have the doubling down strategy, which is an offensive approach when the dealer seems to be in a vulnerable position.
A more advanced blackjack strategy is the card-counting approach. The problem with this strategy is that most casinos frown against it because a good card counter can win a lot of money, which means the casino is losing a lot of money.
So, while the strategy isn’t illegal – even if casinos have tried to lobby to make it illegal – if you are caught counting cards, there’s a good chance the casino will ask you to leave and not return. If you win a lot, they might even blacklist you among all the other casinos in the area.
The essence of card counting is that you memorize what cards have been dealt during the game. Since there is a limited number of cards in play every round, you can come up with a probability of what cards are left in the deck and bet accordingly.
Don’t worry, though, because you don’t need a photographic memory to count cards. There are a number of strategies you can use that will make it quite easy. The more difficult part is making sure the casino doesn’t ask you to leave, though with online casinos this isn’t an issue.
Betting Strategies in Blackjack
Managing your money effectively while playing any casino game is vital because your betting strategy will determine how long you play for and your chances of winning big.
Firstly, never play a casino game with money you can’t afford to lose. The moment you try to use your rent money, for example, you will be so desperate and scared of losing that you’ll make terrible decisions.
So, always make sure that you gamble for fun and entertainment only, and not as a means to make money.
While you do have a better chance of winning with blackjack, especially if you can count cards, it’s still not a good idea to treat it as a money-making opportunity. As long as your main goal is to have fun while still maintaining a chance of winning, then you’ll be good.
Betting strategies in blackjack allow you to adopt money management systems that differ based on your goals.
For example, if enjoyment for you means making large bets rather than staying at the table longer, then you might want to adopt a regressive betting system. However, if you want to stay at the table longer, than a progressive system will probably be your best bet.
A progressive betting system involves increasing your bets every time you win, while a regressive system involves increasing your bets every time you lose.
Progressive systems, like the Paroli system, tend to be more conservative than regressive systems. This is because they are generally designed to allow you to increase your bets in such a fashion that you are playing with the casino’s money.
Regressive systems, such as the D’Alembert, the Martingale or the Fibonacci, are more aggressive and can often lead to you losing your entire bankroll quite quickly.
Other betting systems include the constant bet, which basically means that you bet the same amount every time, and the constant proportion bet, which requires you to bet the same percentage of your budget.
With blackjack, you have a better chance of winning that with other casino games because it involves skill. The basic strategy will certainly help you improve your odds, while card counting will skyrocket your chances, though there are risks if you’re in a physical casino.
When you combine these strategies in blackjack with effective betting and money management systems, you’ll find blackjack far more entertaining.