Since its hotly debated origin in 17th– century French Casinos, Blackjack has been a mainstay in manyn online casinos and has particularly transitioned well into the digital realm due to its simplicity and different game formats.
Blackjack is a more analytical casino game than most, and although chance plays a big part of it, the entire game isn’t all down to just luck like a humble slot machine or roulette wheel. That’s why a lot of people call Blackjack a game of choice instead of a game of chance.
In addition by using a basic blackjack strategy, you can reduce the house edge a lot and increase your chances of winning in the long term.
Best Betting Strategies for Blackjack
This all means that if you enter a blackjack table knowing what you’re doing with a set basic strategy, you can maximise your chances of winning big and earning a profit on the table after a certain period of play.
Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed in a casino; the odds are always against you, but nonetheless, here are some of the best strategies for Blackjack which can improve your chances of winning.
The good news is that you can use these strategies whether you play live dealer blackjack online or at your local casino.
|Never Split A Pair of 5s or 10s||Higher success probability with a hard 20 from two 10s.|
|Always Hit On A Hard 12 Against A 2 or 3 Upcard||Better to hit due to higher loss probability on a hard 12.|
|Double Down On A Hard 11||Double down for bigger wins, regardless of dealer’s hand.|
|Split On A Pair of 8s or Aces||Increase chances of a higher total by splitting when the dealer has a high card.|
|Always Hit On A Soft 18 When The Dealer has a 9,10 or Ace||Use the flexibility of a soft 18 by hitting for another card.|
|Always Double Down On A 10 When The Dealer’s Card Is 9 or Less||Doubling down on a 10 can lead to higher winnings.|
|Copy The Dealer And Hit A Soft 17||Hitting on a soft 17 can be beneficial over a long period of play.|
Never Split A Pair of 5s or 10s
Splitting is an option that blackjack players have where they can separate their initial hand into two different ones, allowing them to play two different games at once, which can be useful depending on the cards that you split.
However, it’s always a good idea to never split a pair of 5s or 10s. The reason for the 5 pair is that playing off a hard 10 total gives you a greater chance of success than drawing cards on top of a 5 value. Similarly, you’ll have a greater chance of success sticking with a hard 20 with two 10s present than splitting the 10s and building from that total. In all circumstances, having a 20 puts you in a good position, don’t waste it. This is a very basic blackjack strategy that every player should be aware of.
Always Hit On A Hard 12 Against A 2 or 3 Upcard
Most people stand on a hard 12 in this situation because they’re scared of going bust, and although this is a potential hazard, it’s always best to hit when faced with a 2 or 3 because the probability of you losing on a 12 against those cards is greater than you going bust.
This means, although this isn’t a great situation to be in, blackjack strategy dictates that you are in a far better position by hitting and will lose less money this way over the course of a game.
Double Down On A Hard 11
If you ever get dealt a hard 11 during a game of Blackjack, which is a pair of cards that total 11 without an ace card – such as 8 and 3, for example – you should always double down, regardless of what the dealer has. You’ll always win more money this way.
The reason for this is doubling down increases the value of your initial bet, meaning you can get a higher reward. The trade-off is that you must settle after drawing another card, but the probability dictates that you’ll likely end up on a decent score that gives you a high chance of success.
Split On A Pair of 8s or Aces
When dealt a hard 16 made up of two 8s or a soft 12 due to two aces, many people feel that they’re the underdog this turn and try to bet as little as possible due to the high probability of losing. However, you can improve your chances of success with this hand by splitting your cards.
This might put some people off as it involves betting more money, but what this does it gives you a good foundation to hit and draw more cards – you have a better chance of building to a high score from 8 without going bust than you do building from 16. Doing the same for two aces is also good as it allows you the flexibility to play a soft hand to minimize your chances of going bust, too.
You should always spit when you have this hand, but especially when the dealer has drawn a 9,10 or ace, as this strategy will put you in a far greater position to challenge those cards than by not doing so.
Always Hit On A Soft 18 When The Dealer has a 9,10 or Ace
Due to dealers having to stop at 17, many players feel that getting an 18 gives them a huge chance of winning Blackjack, but this isn’t always the case, especially in this scenario, as it actually makes the player the underdog.
Having a soft 18 – which is when an ace is involved that can either be a value of 1 or 11 – gives the player flexibility, a flexibility that they should always hit on (which means to get dealt another card).
This is because if you draw a small card up to the value of 3, it means that you have a value of 19-21, which puts you in a better position to win. If you draw a card higher than this, then your ace can revert to the value of 1, and your hand isn’t weakened in the process.
Always Double Down On A 10 When The Dealer’s Card Is 9 or Less
This is perhaps the simplest rule to remember, but it is one of the most effective at helping you win more money in the game. In this scenario where you have a 10 and the dealer has a 9 or less, you’re always the favourite to win.
This means that it’s a good idea to take advantage of that probability and double down, as this will increase your bet amount and should lead to higher winnings.
Copy The Dealer And Hit A Soft 17
There’s a reason that casinos have a rule where the dealer needs to hit a soft 17, and this is because it’s effective over a long period of play. That’s why it’s a good idea to mirror this strategy, as it will mean that over time, your chances of winning are equal to that of the dealers, which is useful.
To follow this rule, it means that if you are dealt an Ace and a 6, you need to hit again.
More Advanced Blackjack Strategies
Progressive Betting Strategy
A progressive betting strategy involves increasing your bets when you win and reducing them when you lose. This strategy hinges on the idea that losses and wins come in streaks. The two popular types are:
- Positive Progressive Betting: Here, you increase your bet after each win. The goal is to maximize your winnings during winning streaks and minimize losses during a losing streak.
- Negative Progressive Betting: This involves increasing your bets after a loss. The Martingale strategy is a famous example where after a loss, you double your bet with the aim to recover previous losses when you win.
However, it’s important to remember that Blackjack is still a game of chance, and there’s no guaranteed winning streak. Use these strategies responsibly and within your betting budget.
Card counting is an advanced Blackjack strategy typically used in physical casinos. Though it requires substantial practice and a good memory, it’s not illegal or cheating. The idea is to keep track of the ratio of high to low cards left in the deck. This can provide you an edge in knowing when the remaining deck is ‘hot’ (filled with higher-value cards).
However, be aware that casinos aren’t big fans of blackjack card counting. If they suspected that you are counting cards, they might ask you to leave, so subtlety is crucial here. Also, note that card counting isn’t effective in online Blackjack games as they often reshuffle the deck after each hand.
This is a more sophisticated form of basic strategy that considers the exact composition of your hand, not just the point total. For example, a total of 16 can be composed in two ways – a 10 and a 6 or 8 and 8. According to basic strategy, you’d stand if the dealer shows a weak card. But in a composition-dependent strategy, you’d split if you have a pair of 8s, even if the dealer shows a weak card.
Remember, these strategies require practice and understanding to implement effectively. And, most importantly, they don’t guarantee success but can increase your chances of having an edge over the house.
So these are the best blackjack strategies that you can use in order to maximise your chances of making some profit in the long term. Of course, you can win at blackjack even if you don’t use a blackjack strategy but using a basic strategy can assist you to increase your chances.
If you want to try some of these strategies, the best live casinos online have plenty of live dealer tables for Blackjack with various table limits that suit all players.
|Progressive Betting Strategy||Adjust bets based on winning (Positive) or losing (Negative) streaks.|
|Card Counting||Track ratio of high to low cards for an edge in physical casino games.|
|Composition-Dependent Strategy||Consider the exact composition of your hand for refined decisions.|
Please remember that even though these strategies can potentially improve the chances of winning, they do not guarantee success and should be used responsibly.
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My name is Yannis and I am also known as Mr Live Casinos in the iGaming industry. I have been playing casino games for more than 20 years and I have been reviewing and writting about casino games and online casinos for the last 10 years