Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack, also known to some as 21, is one of the most widely played games in both brick-and-mortar and online-based casinos. After all, it gives players a definite edge over the house, which maximizes their odds of winning a juicy prize. In the end, though, using a strategy is the only way to consistently make profits.

While other popular casino games like Keno or Roulette rely completely on luck, blackjack allows players to use strategy and skill to influence the outcome. There are a number of strategies available to you as a blackjack player and we have discussed each one of them in detail below for your better understanding:

Doubling

One of the most known blackjack strategies, doubling down is simple to use. When you decide to double down, an extra bet equal to your original is added and you are dealt one more card. This strategy gives you the opportunity to double the amount of money on a strong starting hand.  If the hand value of the first two cards is 11, then you must always choose to double down, as almost 1/3rd of the deck will push you to 21 and more than half the cards will give you 17, or higher. You would also want to double down on 10s and 9s in some situations.

Splitting

Splitting is a worthy strategy when used in certain situations. If the first two cards dealt to you are the same, you can split them into two separate hands, especially in the case of Aces or 8s.When you split, you will have to add another bet to your original. The dealer will then give you two new cards, one to complete each hand. You should split in these two circumstances:

  1. If you are dealt 8s, you should split because 16 is a very weak hand to begin with and an 8 is good starting hand.
  2. Splitting aces is highly favorable to the player as it creates the opportunity for other positive hands.

Splitting is an extremely popular blackjack strategy among players in both online and traditional, land-based casinos.

Surrender

Blackjack dealers offer surrendering as an option to players, but you should ignore it. This is mainly because when you decide to surrender, you do recover half of your original bet, but at the expense of the other half. At times, it may seem like a viable option to surrender, but when it comes to online gambling, you are better off standing in the long run.

Insurance

If the dealer shows an ace, casinos provide insurance as an option to the player. While insurance policies will give you 3:2 odds on blackjacks (which sounds more tempting than it really is), you are likely to lose more money by playing insurance bets in the long run. Sure, there may be instances where counting cards will decrease the already low house edge by taking insurance, but since you cannot count the cards in an online game of blackjack, you should just avoid the insurance option.

Card Counting

A rather complex blackjack strategy, card counting requires good mathematical skills and the ability to play with numbers in your head.  By counting cards, you can track the ratio between low-value and high-value cards that remain in the deck. Although you can exactly guess what card would come next, it is a great benefit to know that the deck is full of high value cards. When the count is in your favor, you can place bigger bets to maximize your winnings.

However, while card counting can help you win big payouts as well as bring the risk of being banned from land-based casinos, it is important to note that this strategy cannot be used online. After all, in online casinos - cards are virtually shuffled between each hand, and therefore make card counting pointless.

Other Blackjack Strategies

Besides the aforementioned strategies, a number of other blackjack strategies are also out there, which offer varying results. These include:

Assume 10 in the Hole

In this scenario, you will always assume the card in the dealer’s hand is 10 and place your bets accordingly.  For example, if the dealer shows a 9, and you have an 18, they would decide to hit, despite the fact that anything higher than a 3 would best you, the player, out.  While assuming a 10 may align with basic strategy, making use of this strategy exclusively would result in you losing money in the long run.

Mimic the Dealer

According to this blackjack strategy, the player is supposed to gamble by the rules of the dealer, which means standing on 17s or higher and hitting with 16 or less. You neither split nor double. This strategy is not one of the most optimal ones, but it results in a house edge of 5.48%.

Bonus Tip – Bankroll Management

It is extremely important that players consider how much money they can lose and how long they are willing to play before deciding on the size of their bankroll as well as bets. When playing online, the results can swing quickly and that is exactly why you need to provide yourself a cushion with your bankroll, but remember to never make the mistake of going with more money than you can actually afford to lose.

Final Word

And that’s about it. These are the numerous blackjack strategies available to you, which can influence the outcome of your game, and increase your odds of winning. However, perfecting these strategies takes extensive practice. Even if you disregard the complication of memorizing basic strategy and card counting, deciding where to double, hit, split or stand is a task that calls the need for repetition.  Luckily, online casinos are just the place for that, as players can play more hands in far the less time as opposed to in traditional, land-based casino halls!

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