Players lucky enough to have found a really good online casino offering a variety of online blackjack thinking they’re good to go, think again. In order to start making real money with online blackjack, players have to understand blackjack strategy. It’s not just thinking up the idea of counting cards or perhaps playing with a gut feeling, it’s real strategy.
In today’s world, online casinos won’t let players count cards. It’s almost impossible especially if a single deck is used because the card shuffle that happens afterwards is instant. It used to be in land-based casinos that players could maintain some sort of count due to the fact that multiple decks are in a shoe, but in the online casino world, that’s no longer the case.
Blackjack A to Z: Blackjack Basic Strategy
As far as basic strategy goes, there’s very little that will be able to give players an advantage over the house. The house edge is razor-thin at most online casinos and the trick isn’t to bring the house down in a single hand, it’s to periodically win slightly more than losing over a certain amount of time using the best choices statistically. The blackjack odds are good, and the game has the best odds of winning, putting the house edge at around one percent.
When it comes to blackjack, basic strategy would suggest things like when to hit or stand, and how to double down, surrender, and split pairs. Believe it or not, but the best blackjack basic strategy is to find the right game. The most common type of blackjack is a game that has the dealer being forced to hit on a soft or hard 17. Players will want to look for the table that makes the dealer hit on a soft 17 and in finding this on its own, will wipe a further .25% off the house edge.
While that may sound like almost nothing, it makes up for a significant amount of money when it comes down to it. If you’re someone who bets $1 and can play around 50 hands an hour, you’re spending $50 an hour. This means the casino is making an extra 10c each hour and this can quickly add up, especially if playing high stakes. Before players have even sat down, they may have put themselves at a disadvantage, so be careful.
Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart
When players refer to a blackjack basic strategy chart, they are talking about a table that shows them what they should be doing in every hand. The reason this is a thing is because there are only a number of possible outcomes. This will likely include hard totals and soft totals and knowing when to split the hand too.
As an example, players should know that if they have a 6 and a 9 to make 15, and the dealer is showing a 6, players should know that they are able to stand on that total. The chance that the dealer will land a high card on their next hit will put them over the threshold for going bust which means a win!
Take a look at our blackjack basic strategy chart to come to grips with what players should do for certain card combinations.
How to Shift the Blackjack Odds in the Player’s Favour
Let’s discuss blackjack odds and probabilities. When you’re playing any kind of blackjack and there’s only a single deck in the shoe, it means that there are only 52 cards in the deck meaning that the possibility of drawing any single particular card is 1 in 52 which is less than a 2% chance. Any players looking for a particular card of any suit, will have over a 7% chance to get it. So, when a blackjack hand is dealt between a player and a dealer and the player is looking for a 6, then there’s a 4 in 48 chance, assuming that nobody already has a 6.
These probabilities are then far better for a player when looking for a card of a 10 value. That’s because there’s a 10, Jack, Queen, and King, and each of them appears four times. Calculating all of this together, if players are hoping for a face card then they’ve got a 16 out of 48 chance to get one. Those odds are far greater, and much more lenient when looking for something particular.
In an example, if you as the player are showing 13, and the dealer is showing 6, there’s a better than one in four chance of a dealer pulling a face card to go on top of their hand. If their hidden card is something high like a face card, a 9, 8, 7, or 6, any of those face cards will make the dealer go bust and give you the win.
As cards leave the deck and go into hands, the probabilities change. If the player has a multi-card 16 and is going up against a dealer showing a 10, then the advised strategy is to stand if there are any low cards in the16 remaining. The probability of the dealer not drawing a face card is not too high, but afterward, the player has used cards in their hand already that are of a smaller value, so it makes more sense to hang onto the cards in the hopes the dealer will get unlucky and not pull a small card.
This is where free blackjack comes in handy. Calculating the odds and possibilities are not things that many people can do off the top of their head and it requires some learning. It may also require a little cheat sheet for players to check out, and they’ll be able to see how to win blackjack games just by playing the numbers. While this may seem like blackjack basic strategy to some, it can be rather complex to players who aren’t familiar with the game just yet.
How to Win at Blackjack Without Breaking Any Casino Rules
Play smart. The dealer has the advantage in blackjack by always acting last and players need to do everything they can to offset the balance and try to swing the game in their favour. This used to be a process of card-counting back in the day, and something that may still happen today at certain casinos.
But this isn’t a way of card counting that will give exact answers, more like possibilities. With a counting system such as the Hi-Lo system, players attribute a positive value to cards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, attributing a negative value to 10, J, Q, K, and Ace, and then a neutral zero value to the 7, 8, and 9. The purpose of this is that if each card represents a +1 or a -1, then players will be able to get a count on the cards.
If there are a lot of small cards players, then the count value goes up, and assuming the deck isn’t shuffled after every hand, it can give players a fair indication of what to do on the next hand. With a bunch of the smaller cards out the way, it means that there are a lot of big cards coming in, and those will likely bring the count down, but before this happens players are able to start capitalizing. Big cards will be coming thick and fast and it’s prime time for the dealer to start going bust.
Whenever players want to understand how to play blackjack, it’s safe to assume that many people understand blackjack rules. These rules are strict and will only work in the favour of players when they start using some of the rules against the house. The last thing anyone wants to do is break the casino rules
Players do have some advantages in the way that they are able to pull extra cards and stand on totals that work well for them. They can also double down to make the most of any situation and can also split pairs when needed in order to play an extra hand. These distinct advantages can be the difference between making money and losing money. Due to the fact that players need to put the same bet down again means that they can double their money on the best bets.
Last but not least, at some online casinos the surrender option also exists. This can be used in certain scenarios where players don’t really have a lot of options and will result in players getting half their stake back.
Blackjack Strategy Charts for Experts
With greater strategy there is a lot more than can be thought of that makes sense the better players understand it. A blackjack strategy chart is definitely the best place to start but knowing that they will go bust at a certain point in a hand can help too.
If a player has 14 in their hand, there’s a little over a 50% chance that the player will go bust. Even starting at 12, the probability to bust is a little over 30% so it’s not an easy thing to quantify. The difference between going bust after each card increases the higher the hand value goes up. When the dealer is forced to hit on a 17 gives them an almost 50/50 chance to go bust when they are showing a 6.
We’ve developed a blackjack strategy chart showing a lot of these interesting pieces of information and many more. What players can do with a chart or a guide can make or break a day online at the casino. The beauty of playing at an online casino means that players are able to use these kinds of cheat sheets to determine the best possible strategy. This is something that cannot be done in a land-based casino because the pit boss or the croupiers would stop everyone from doing anything untoward.