A game of Blackjack relies on a series of random decisions to be made by the player and the nature of the game automatically puts the player at a disadvantage against an online casino.
The house edge for a Blackjack game may always be different, depending on the specific game being played and the player's payback percentage. However, it typically stands at anything between 0.5% - 2%, if you are a new player with little to no experience.
The first recommendation we will make, is to follow a Blackjack chart while you play. Even if you play perfectly according to the Blackjack chart, the house will always have an edge over the player, however, it does help to make better decisions.
The goal is to make the the game more favorable to you. With the help of the chart, the odds which favor the casino could drop by possibly more than half the original percentage, a massive difference.
Blackjack charts can come in handy when clearing casino bonuses as well. Some online casinos will allow a game of Blackjack for players to meet wagering requirements. A clever game of Blackjack, could ensure a definite turn over of bonuses with minimal losses.
Let's Start from the very Beginning
To be able to play the game in an intelligent way, you need to first understand the game. Here is some basic terminology and its explanation, that you will hear and use while you play.
Hit: Taking another card from the dealer.
Stand: Not taking another card from the dealer.
Split: When two cards of the same value are dealt, the player can split the cards to create two separate hands.
Double: A risky move which doubles the bet while playing a hand, and then taking a third card. The game automatically requires the player to stand after making this move.
Soft: A soft hand in the game is an Ace that can be counted as an 11. A beneficial move which allows the player to edit their total, depending on where they currently stand in the game.
Insurance: If your dealer shows an Ace or you have a hand with the value of 15 or higher, you can play an Insurance, which is normally half the amount of the original wager.
Push: A tie between the dealer and the player; nobody wins, nobody loses.
Bust: The player lost the game.
For a more detailed explanation of some of these terms, check out our article about the basic rules of a game of Blackjack.
What to Keep at your Fingertips
Even without a Blackjack chart at your side, these four basic principles we will introduce you to should seriously improve your skill at the game. They are basics that a new player should keep in mind to have a better chance at winning.
Never Split 5 and 10
Your gut feeling is worth listening to, however, there should be no reason for a player to ever split their 5s and 10s.
Earlier we mentioned that when two cards of the same value are dealt to the player, they may choose to split them. Not with 5s and 10s however.
Splitting your 5s does not make much sense as starting a hand with a 5 automatically puts you at a disadvantage, even if the dealer's face up card is of weaker value. It is definitely a better idea to keep your 5s together, therefore amounting in a hand of 10.
Never splitting 10s is explained with the same reasoning. Having a hand that already amounts to 20 puts you in an advantageous position.
Take your chance on 11
Always double on 11 if the dealer is showing a card lower than 10. You will have great chances of getting to 21, or around that amount, on your third card when your two face-up cards are 11.
Being dealt two Aces is very rare.
It makes sense to split them as your chances of receiving a value 10 card are very high considering how many of these cards there are in a deck of 312 cards. Having two hands with an Ace and a value 10 card means you would have two winning hands.
Knowing basic Blackjack strategies and following a handy chart while you play are not sufficient for your success. You also need to manage the money you are betting. This is called your bankroll.
For your Blackjack bankroll it is also advisable to set a stake size that you follow when betting throughout the game, for example $5 per bet. It would be ideal for players to keep the same stake, whether they are on a losing streak or a winning streak.
Remember to play responsibly and only put money in your bankroll that you afford losing.
A Game of Probability
In any casino game, winning or losing all comes down to odds and probabilities. So, let us discuss various probabilities of this game.
As we have learnt so far, going into a game of Blackjack with no strategy is almost a guarantee of a loss against the house's 2% edge. Below is an example of a Blackjack chart you can use during gameplay, which we remind you - could potentially decrease the house edge from 2% to 0.5%.
The most common version of Blackjack uses six decks of cards therefore, a total of 312 cards. Around 31% of the cards are of a value of 10 therefore : 10, Jack, Queen, King - 96 cards in total. Aces make up almost 8% of all cards, 24 in total. 10-value cards and Aces are the best cards in Blackjack.
As is illustrated on the Blackjack chart below, these cards allow you to think big when you are betting, taking a beneficial risk that could capitalize your hands.
Let us also take a look at a chart that calculates the chances player advantage and the dealer going bust based on their face-up card.
The second column shows the player's advantage if at least one basic strategy is applied. The best-case scenario for a player is when the dealer has a five face-up, and the worst-case scenario is when the dealer has an Ace.
Is It Really Allowed to Play Blackjack with a Chart?
In an online casino game, you have more freedom, and can access a Blackjack chart whenever you please. A print out, an extra open tab on your browser while you play - it is possible and easy.
Playing in an offline casino, where the deals are happening live, it is normally not allowed of course. Sitting at a playing table, phone in hand, looking at a Blackjack chart, is usually not considered very good Blackjack etiquette.
Will the Chart Guarantee a Win?
No, as we have stated, the casino will always have a house edge. However the chart is a reliable guide for a good strategy, and paired with the basic principles we have discussed above, your chances could be really good.
How Is Blackjack Played?
There are various ways to play the game.
Many enjoy the thrill of following their gut and seeing where that leads them. Playing with the chart is a safer option, which is perhaps slightly less exciting than just acting on your whims during the game.
Either way, the game is difficult and your progression in the game will be affected by your feelings and behaviour during the game, and vice versa. If you are negatively impacted by a losing streak during the game, you may be more susceptible to making mistakes in your choices.
Can a Game of Blackjack Really Be Won?
Yes. It is a game of probability, and winning is one of the probabilities. But you should always remember that the odds of winning are not in your favor. Even if you stick to all our tips and tricks, you will always be at a disadvantage, however slight it may be.
The ideal play would be a perfect one, which will come after many rounds of practice, learning different strategies and using tools like the chart. This may eventually help you come up with ways to crack the game.
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