Blackjack Strategy

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Every serious blackjack players knows the house always wins – in the long run. But that doesn’t mean you can’t better your chances of success and profits. The house edge in blackjack can be kept to a bare minimum if you follow some simple strategy. Knowing when to hit or stand in blackjack is paramount to your chances of keeping the edge down. There are other ways, some quite time consuming to learn, like card counting which can also give you a positive result.

Card counting

Technically card counting is not illegal in Australia, but no casino worth their salt will knowingly let a card counter ply their trade. Card counting is a technique developed by people far smarter than me to gain a significant advantage over the house in blackjack by keeping a running tally of the cards that have already been dealt. With this information, the skilled card counter can anticipate whether a hand – usually toward the end of the shoe – will be a winner or not, and can adjust their bets accordingly to their benefit.

Though this practice may not technically be illegal casinos, go to great lengths to hinder and even ban known card counters. Casino’s are perpetually aware of the risk card counters can pose to their proverbial bottom line.

Pro’s: proven track record among urban legends and “based on real events” movies and biographies.

Con’s: being ejected from brick and mortar casinos and being well known for all the wrong reasons among casino operators.

Can it be used at a brick and mortar casino? Yes.

Can it be used online? The simple answer is no. Random Number Generators make card counting redundant and Live Dealer Blackjack options more often than not place the cut card half way in the deck which, again, makes the concept redundant.

The Martingale strategy

The Martingale strategy is a betting pattern used to essentially guarantee a profit, but that also operates under the assumption of an infinite bankroll. In the Martingale strategy, as applied to blackjack, you would start with an initial bet amount of x amount (let’s say $100). If you win, you revert back to your original bet of $100. If, however, you do not win your hand, the theory suggests to double your initial wager for the next hand, and continue to do so, until you win.

So let’s say you lose your first three hands, you’d now be betting $800 for the four hand. So you’ve covered the first three wagers of $700, and you stand to profit $100. As soon as you win any hand, you will have covered all your loses and made a profit of your starting wager.

The strategy simply works on the theory that you have to win sooner or later if you keep on playing.

Pro: guarantees a profit….eventually.

Cons: Successive loses will force you to fork out a lot of money. If you lose five hands consecutively, and began betting with $20, you’d have wagered a total of $620, and now would be required to put down $640 as your next bet.

Can it be used at brick and mortar casinos? Yes, to a certain degree. Table limits throw a spanner in the works if you find yourself in the grip of a run of bad luck.

Can it be used online? Yes. Table limits online are a lot more flexible and can often be negotiated to be more accommodating. However, there will always be a table limit, so it is more than possible to reach that limit and be stuck in a significant money pit.

Play like the house and follow strategy

The house, whether it be online or in a real life casino, has a regimented set of rules its end operates under in Blackjack and they do this for one reason: it’s the best way to make money. The brains trust behind casinos, who are much smarter people than I could ever hope to be, have gone over the game with a fine-tooth comb and devised this playing strategy to maximise the casinos profits.

So why not try and beat the suckers with their own rules? Take a card if your total is 16 or less and stay on 17 or more. Basic blackjack strategy is imperative to follow in the game of 21 if you want to boost your chances of winning to the greatest degree.

Some key moves to note:

  • Don’t take insurance: it is a sucker’s bets and cunningly devised to sap your cash.
  • Always hit a soft 17.
  • Don’t be afraid to double down and split hands, but don’t split pictures.
  • Don’t double if the dealer has a picture
  • Surrender when appropriate (according to strategy) if the game allows it.

Pros: Following strategy is the best way to maximise your odds of beating the house at its own game. The strategy’s set moves to follow when the dealer and yourself have certain cards has been mathematically proven to be the most effective actions for a player to take in order to win as many hands as possible.

Cons: none, aside from the fact it can take time to master.

Can it be used at bricks and mortar casinos? Yes.

Can it be used online? Yes.

It is alawys best to follow basic blackjack strategy and play like the house. If you have an infinite bankroll, you could use the Martingale system, but I’d imagine with an infinite bankroll, you’d be using your money for other ventures.