Blackjack Strategy - A Critical Factor in Determining a Win
Other than being a casino game which is heavily based on luck, Blackjack is also a game which is also strikingly dependent on skill. With this being said, our players turned experts at CasinoTop10 highly urge you to take it upon yourself in order to learn the Basic Blackjack Strategy involved in playing the famous casino game. If you’re looking to for some great advice straight from the horse’s mouth, then you’ll be glad to know that you’ve certainly come to right place as our players turned casino experts are here to guide you!
Use a Blackjack Strategy – Play the Smart Way
If you’re new to blackjack, you should be aware that it will take you time to learn which is the best move to make according to the particular hand you’re dealt. After all there are 340 hands you as a blackjack player could end up holding and there’s generally no telling which one you’ll get!
In Blackjack, there are over 100 hand situations which play themselves automatically. For example, if you end up with a score of 13 and the dealer’s face up card displays a 5, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that you should opt to hit. Nonetheless, you might find yourself in a position which will require far more thought. For instance, if you end up with a pair of 6’s and the dealer’s card reveals a 4, what would you do? Would you split your pair of 6’s, take a ‘hit’ or simply stick to your guns and stand with ‘12’? Rather than just relying on your intuition it’s far better to simply rely on mathematics instead. Hence, rather than getting caught up in the heat of the moment and making a terrible mistake which could have a profound impact on the amount you could stand to win, our blackjack experts at CasinoTop10 recommend that you don’t just wing it and instead try to determine what to do by basing your decision on mathematics instead.
Unfortunately, many gamblers choose to play based on their own intuition rather than strategies which have been tried and tested and have been proven to work. However, when it comes down to playing the semi-circular tale game, you should keep in mind that one of the primary goals in blackjack is to reduce to the house edge to one which is as low as possible. In substance, if you manage to do this, there will be a dramatic shift in your favour which can leave you in the running to win a handsome amount of cash! So if you’re caught between two stools as to which strategy you should choose, don’t be! Instead, take a look at the strategy chart below which can serve you as a guide to what manoeuvers you should use when playing the casino classic!
Originally, the basic blackjack strategy was developed through the use of a computer simulation program of millions of blackjack hands in order to determine what would be the best manoeuver to use in certain situations. CasinoTop10’s blackjack strategy chart displayed below refers to blackjack games which use 4-8 decks of cards. In the chart below, the only things you need to pay attention to is the value of the visible card the dealer is holding and your total hand value. When you’re comparing the two, the boxes in the middle of the chart will help you to determine which decision would generate the best expected value. Although there are about 340 hands you can be dealt, the chart only contains 270 squares. This is due to the fact that it is assumed that if you as a blackjack player had to acquire a low score (such as a total score of 7 or less), you would choose to hit as opposed to stand or any other manoeuver which is available to use throughout the game. Following our chart below will help you reduce the house edge and make playing blackjack a piece of cake. If you’re new to the game, we recommend that you keep the window open whilst you play or print out the strategy sheet to keep beside you whilst you’re playing the game.
Blackjack Strategy Starter Kit
Although the chart above is pretty self-explanatory, we’ve come up with a few points to sum things up for you! Have a look at our Blackjack Strategy Starter Kit below.
• Stand pat with your score of 12, if the dealer displays a 6 or card of lower value.
• Only hit until you’ve managed to acquire a score of 17.
• Hit if you’ve got an Ace and a 6 and stand if you’ve got an ace together with a 7 or anything higher than that.
• Double down on 10/11.
• Always choose to split a pair of Aces or 8s.
• Split a pair of 7’s only if the dealer’s card is 7 or lower.
• Don’t take Insurance or Even Money when you’re playing blackjack.
Four Important Blackjack Strategy Tips
If you find yourself trying to figure out what moves to make in blackjack, remember these ideas to keep you in the game.
1. Give the Dealer a Chance to Bust
If the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6 showing, you don't want to be hitting unless you have a "soft" hand (one that can’t bust with an additional card). These cards give the dealer the biggest chance to bust, which is highly favorable to you. In fact, in many situations you will want to double or split your hand to get more money in action in the likely event that the dealer busts.
2. Hold on to High, Hard Hands
As a rule of thumb, you should always stand if you’re holding a hard 17 or higher as your chances of busting are too great. On the other hand, if the dealer shows a paint card or an ace in the hole, your 17 may not look that good (and it isn’t) but drawing with the chance of going bust is an even worse decision. Give the dealer a chance to bust or end up at the same total as you.
3. Always Split Aces and Eights – Never Split Tens and Sixes
Gambler Mike Caro once said, “Aces are larger than life and greater than mountains”and when it comes to playing blackjack he is absolutely right. A single ace is a powerful card – two together is just a twelve. Always split them and give yourself a shot at two 21s.In contrast, you should never split 10s and 8s. A 10 is a good base for a hand, but a 20 is too powerful to risk splitting. Two 8s make 16, which in hindsight is the worst possible hand, however if you split them you can make two 18s, hands that are reasonably strong.
4. Never Take Insurance
Any time the dealer shows an ace you have the opportunity to take insurance. This means that you post a side bet half the size of the original wager, and if the dealer has blackjack, this side bet is paid 2:1. Consequentially, if the dealer has blackjack you break even.Nevertheless, you don’t have to think more about how this option works. Insurance is always a bad decision and only raises the casino’s advantage.
Even in the likes of brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City and Vegas, certain hands in Blackjack tend to be more commonly misplayed than others both by gamblers who are quite new to the game as well as seasoned players. If you don’t want to join the other sheep in the flock, you should take the following hands and correct plays below into consideration and remember them! Have a look below:
|12 vs. 3 up||HIT|
|16 vs. 7 up||HIT|
|11 vs. 10 up||DOUBLE|
|A/3 vs. 3 up||HIT|
|A/7 vs. 3 Up||DOUBLE|
|A/7 vs. 9 Up||HIT|
|9,9 vs. 9 up||Split|
|8,8 vs. 10 up||Split|
|Blackjack vs. A up||No Even Money|
Blackjack Odds in relation to Blackjack Strategy
Now that you’ve managed to gain a comprehensive understanding of basic blackjack strategy, you should always aim to learn about blackjack odds in order to be able to manipulate them in your favor.
When using the correct basic strategy, you can get the blackjack odds on a multiple-deck game down to about a 0.45 percent edge in the casino’s favor. In other words, you can expect to lose on average 45 cents for every $100 you wager.This does not necessarily mean that you will lose 45 cents out of every $100 exactly, but over the long term, this is how well you can expect to do. Failing to use basic blackjack strategy (playing hunches) can result in house edges of five percent or more.
Understanding the House Edge and how to turn it in your favor
When playing blackjack, you should keep in mind that the house has a profound advantage over players of the game. Fundamentally, the house edge in blackjack is about 8%. The advantage a casino has over players of a certain game is a conceptual number which cannot be calculated by using real world experiences. The house hold is a term which is synonymous to the house edge which is based on experiences playing the game in the real world.
Understanding how the house gains their edge and how to overcome it will help you win. Essentially, the casino has an advantage in blackjack due to the fact that you as a player has to play first and if you bust you’ll automatically loose, regardless if the casino busts too in the same round. In hindsight, both the dealer and the player have an approximately 28 percent change of busting. Nevertheless, by implementing the basic blackjack strategy, you’ll have the opportunity to twist the house edge in your favor.
Although the house possess the advantage that the dealer plays last, a gambler who chooses to play this casino classic also has certain advantages. These are as follows:
- Whilst a dealer is only paid 1:1 on a blackjack, a player gets a 3 to 2 bonus payoff in comparison.
- As a player you’re able to double your wager in certain situations which are favorable, whilst the dealer is not allowed to double down. These of course include when a dealer is dealt two cards which amount to the value of 11.
- If you acquire a pair, you can choose to split and a dealer can’t.
- When you obtain a ‘16’ you can opt to stand instead of hit unlike the dealer who always has to hit.
Rule Changes Affect the Odds
The odds described above relate to regular blackjack – the most common variation found in both online and offline casinos. However, if you opt to play another variant of Blackjack Online you should remember that the rules which are applied to your preferred blackjack variant directly correlate to the game’s odds. For instance, some casinos have changed from the rule which states that a "dealer stands on soft 17" to a "dealer hits soft 17.” This change boosts the house edge to about 0.66 percent. If there’s an option, avoid the latter game. Also, the surrender variant of this casino classic, which allows you to give up half your bet and forfeit a hand, provides a considerable advantage when used correctly.It knocks the house edge down to around 0.35 percent for the favorable soft 17 rules and about 0.55 percent for the less favorable rules. For more information on the odds, rules and strategies in other games, go to our blackjack variations page.
Learn Strategy with Our Blackjack Trainer
Learning to play blackjack in the optimal way can only improve your winnings. With this in mind, we at CasinoTop10 have developed a new Blackjack Strategy Trainer which will take you through blackjack hands step by step and give you real-time advice on the best decision to make at each stage. Use this tool and practice playing our risk-free blackjack game while learning the proper strategy.
Bonuses Improve Your Odds
Keep a lookout for blackjack bonuses. Bonuses usually require that you to wager a certain amount before the bonus is released to your account. However, once the bonus is released, you would have earned money on top of the regular game. Nonethless, this depends on the type of bonus you’ve received.With this extra value you may actually turn the house edge around and be a favorite against the house. For the best bonus deals, look at our toplist of the best blackjack sites.
Know Your Limits
Last of all, don't chase losses. Sure, losing may be very frustrating but if you change the way you’re playing in order for you to gain back your losses you’ll be deviating from the optimal strategy that you should use.That is, you increase the house edge. It’s a good way of compounding your losses rather than neutralizing them. If you want to enjoy blackjack, make a sport out of smiling at your bad luck!
Use a Blackjack Strategy whilst Playing for Real Money
By employing a simple blackjack strategy, a disciplined mentality and some practice you will increase your chances of winning dramatically. Interested in playing the semi-circular casino classic? If you’ve found yourself nodding your head in reply to this question, we suggest that you have a look at our Blackjack Guide.