Blackjack Tips and Tricks – Increase Your Odds
We're not about to list ways in which we can guarantee you beat a casino as we'd be retired on an island sipping rum and pineapple somewhere and not writing this if we knew that. Nonetheless, follow our blackjack tips and tricks review below to learn how to play better and how to win at blackjack online, you won't be disappointed.
Blackjack Tips and Tricks – Beginning with the Basics
Blackjack is a favourite casino game for many players and sits right up there alongside roulette as the one of the most popular table games at a casino.
It’s not difficult to earn some quick money while playing it, even for the most inexperienced player.
On the surface, the game looks simple and it has a tiny house edge, making it a favourable choice for many beginners. However, as simple as a game blackjack may seem to be, it is quite difficult to master. There is plenty of potential hiding behind its deceptive surface, and the deeper you dig, the greater your chance of long-term profit.
With blackjack, the object of the game is to beat the dealer or hit 21. When playing, there are two parties involved – the dealer and the players. The game is played using one to eight basic decks of 52 cards. Kings, queens and jacks are worth 10 points, 2 through 10 are worth their face values, whereas the ace is somewhat of a wildcard – it is valued at 1 or 11, depending on which option suits the player or dealer.
The game begins with the dealer dealing cards to the leftmost player and progressing to the right, until he or she deals a card to himself. Cards are initially dealt twice in increments of one. All initial cards are dealt face-up, except the dealer’s first card which is dealt face-down. Once the cards have been dealt, it’s the player’s turn to act. You have the following options:
Still all foreign to you? Let's explain these in more detail.
Understanding the Blackjack Terms
Hit – Request another card
Stand – You don't take any more cards for that round
Split – If you have a pair of cards with identical values, you are allowed to split them and proceed with play as normal
Double – doubling down means you double your stake, after which you will be dealt one card and one card only for the rest of the round
Surrender – Returns half of your bet. It can only be done on the first turn once your initial cards have been dealt
Every blackjack table has different rules, so the flow of the game may vary from table to table. To better understand the game, playing a couple of hands for fun will help you immensely in that regard. What's great about a lot of the top online casinos is that you can play for blackjack for fun online without using any money, so make sure you give that a try before diving in with real funds.
Now you understand the basics, let's move on to blackjack strategy…
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Blackjack Basic Strategy
The blackjack basic strategy is a set of strict mathematically calculated rules and guidelines. It eliminates all doubts on what your next move should be regardless of the situation. By perfectly employing basic strategy, the house edge is reduced close to 0.4%.
While nothing can overthrow the house edge, it is a simple, yet very powerful tool that will increase your chances of winning at blackjack without counting cards. You can't count cards at online casinos anyway, so get that idea out of your head.
If, however, you love to play in a real casino, counting cards might be a strategy you adopt. We'd be here all day explaining card counting as there are so many different techniques, but a quick search on YouTube will bring a lot of guides up, so fill your boots there if you wish.
Take a look at the following guidelines extracted from simplified basic strategy. They will teach you when to hit, stand, double down, split and surrender. In these examples, we are assuming a 4-8 deck game where the dealer must stand on a soft 17.
When to Hit in Blackjack
- Hard 4 to 8
- Hard 9, double down if the dealer has 2 to 6, else you should hit
- Hard 12 to 16, only when the dealer has 7 to A
- Soft 13 to 15
- Soft 16 to 18, double down if the dealer has 2 to 6, else you should hit
When to Stand
- Hard 12 to 16 if the dealer has 2 to 6
- Hard 17 to 21
- Soft 16 to 18 if the dealer has 2 to 6
- Soft 19 to 21
When to Double Down
- Hard 9 vs dealer’s 2 to 6
- Soft 16 to 18 vs dealer’s 2 to 6
When to Split
- When you have a pair of 2’s, 3’s, 6’s, 7’s or 9’s vs dealer’s 2 to 6
- When you have a pair of 8’s and Aces
When to Surrender
This is the one and only time you should surrender, without exception. With all other combinations, the risk of getting a better hand is absolutely worth it, as it’s been proven mathematically.
- Hard 16 vs dealer’s 10
The guidelines above offer a simplified approach that is a right fit for beginners. Once you’ve mastered the very basics of the strategy, you can progressively move on towards mastering the entire rule set.
What is Double Down in Blackjack
We've given a brief explanation above, but as it's a common occurrence and used a lot with strong hands, it's worth elaborating on. Doubling down in blackjack is no different than hitting, in essence. When doubling down, you double your initial stake and are dealt an additional card by the dealer. You may not request more cards past that point.
Doubling down is beneficial when you have a strong starting hand, such as a 9, 10 or 11, whereas the dealer has an unfavorable up-card (2 to 6). If you win, you will receive double of what you would normally win, because of the doubled stake.
Not all blackjack tables allow doubling down as some will allow it only on 9’s to 11’s, and some won’t allow you to double after a split. Having double down as an option is always beneficial to players.
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Blackjack Tips and Tricks – Blackjack Secrets!
Blackjack is a game centuries old, so it’s only natural that over time people have looked towards crafting special strategies to always come out ahead. However, the game’s longevity is a result of its impenetrable shell of game rules. Nothing can be done to overthrow the house advantage, but what we can offer is some advice and tips that you may have not known beforehand.
Blackjack has a house advantage because of one thing and one thing only – the player acts first. If you bust, but the dealer busts too if he had the chance to, then you are on the losing side. Fortunately, by perfectly employing basic strategy, it’s been mathematically confirmed that the house edge is reduced to a mere 0.4%.
When you take basic strategy and combine it with simple or advanced card counting strategies, the playing field is almost evened out, and you can consider making some serious money on blackjack.
Blackjack Tips and Tricks – Card Counting
Everyone seems to rave about this method and think it's an easy way to success. It's not. Granted, it can increase your chances fractionally, but unless you're an advanced player, don't rely solely on this to improve your winnings.
We'll explain it anyway in case you want to dive straight in…
Blackjack Card Counting – The Hi-Lo Strategy
When the blackjack card counting strategy is discussed, most tend to use the popular Hi-Lo strategy.
High valued cards count as -1, so that's your 10s, face cards, and aces, with the low cards (2-6) valued at +1. 7, 8 and 9 counts as zero.
Your aim is to add up all of the cards appearing in the game, which is also known as the running count.
For example, the cards dealt are 7, J, 3, 5, 9, K, K, A, 2.
You count +0 -1 +1 +1 +0 -1 -1 -1 +1, which equals -1. That's your running count.
It's also worth counting what is known as the true count. Simply divide the running count by the number of decks. This is the true count. Essentially, the higher the true count value, the higher your advantage is over the casino.
It needs a lot of practice. Of course, there's just one small point to note here – it only works in actual casinos, not online casinos. All decks are shuffled online after each hand, which makes this strategy useless.
Blackjack Tips and Tricks – Do Not Chase Your Losses
OK, so money management and gambling might sound odd in the same sentence, but combining them will lead to a profitable future.
Please bear the following points in mind whenever you're about to play blackjack online.
- Never play with borrowed money
- Only play with what you can afford to lose
- Set a bankroll and stick to it
- Take breaks if you're in it for the long haul
- Do not chase losses
- Quit while you're ahead
- When the fun stops, stop. It's as simple as that
If you do go on a bit of a losing streak, know when to quit. We've all been on the end of a loss, it's not nice, but walking away is the best thing you can do instead of trying to win back what you've lost. It's a slippery slope thereafter.
Blackjack Tips and Tricks – What are the Best Blackjack Software Providers?
You might not realise it, but the software you use when playing blackjack plays a massive part in the overall experience you have. The rules, the games, the payouts and the speed of the game are all linked with software a casino uses.
Instead of choosing a blackjack online casino that has a good welcome bonus or some good existing customer promotions, the better option may be to find out which software provider you prefer and go from there.
Most blackjack software providers can be found at multiple casinos, which gives you the opportunity to make an informed decision on which one to use based on security, trust, and payment methods.
Here's a list of the best blackjack software providers. Every player has their own personal preference, so have a play around with each one and make your choice.
- NetEnt Blackjack
- IGT Blackjack
- Play N Go Blackjack
- Microgaming Blackjack
- Realistic Blackjack
- Playtech Blackjack
- RTG Blackjack
- Extreme Blackjack
- Evolution Gaming Blackjack
Blackjack Tips and Tricks – What are the Best Blackjack Online Casinos and Bonuses?
When looking for an online casino to play blackjack online, it pays to do a little bit of research. Thankfully, we've done all that for you to pick out the best online casinos for blackjack.
Up there with the very best online casinos, LeoVegas also have some great welcome bonuses for new customers to get you started.
There are plenty of LeoVegas blackjack options, and with this ever-improving online casino being crowned live casino of the year in 2018 at the gaming awards, you'll struggle to find many places to play blackjack online than right here.
Being such a stalwart in the UK, William Hill Casino is what a lot of UK newcomers think of when they first want to dip their toe into the blackjack waters.
New player bonuses, plenty of blackjack options, and a solid live blackjack platform make William Hill a top choice for new and experienced players. With such a varied selection of tables to get dealt into, we're sure you'll find the perfect game of blackjack for your online betting needs.
Blackjack Tips and Tricks – What Online Casinos to Avoid
We wouldn't rule out any legitimate casino as they're all different in their own way. It may even come down to personal preference – maybe you like a blue background over a red one? Or a blackjack bonus may be ever so slightly better at one casino than another. Our advice there? Snap up both!
What we would advise, however, is to make sure you use a licensed online casino that has preferably been around for a while. If you choose any of the ones listed in this review, you won't go wrong.