Feb 15, 2020
Blackjack is the world’s most popular casino game. One of the reasons is that you can actually apply strategies that have an impact on your success. Strategies can literally make the difference between being a winning player and one that loses all the time.
For a brief overview of the most common blackjack strategies, continue reading this guide. You will learn effective techniques that ensure the lowest possible house edge and the best odds.
The basic strategy reduces the house edge to a minimum when executed perfectly - only about 0.5 percent. Moreover, in games that use only a single deck, the strategy even gives players a slight edge over the house.
It’s very simple having a set number of rules and only minor alterations for different variations of blackjack. But it can still be tricky while you're learning, so refer to a downloadable and printable chart like the one below.
This chart describes the moves you should potentially make based on the mathematical probability. They were initially developed using computer simulations for greater accuracy, so it's an absolutely unbiased guide. Every possible card combination is covered, and you'll know when to hit, split, double-down, etc.
Remember that the rules are indisputable in the long run. Even if you feel compelled to change things up, you should still stick to the prescribed actions to actually benefit from the strategy. Once you stop following the chart precisely, it will no longer have any effect.
The very reason side bets exist is to increase the house edge and, consequently, the revenues. After casinos noticed that players are adopting various blackjack strategies, they were hoping to win their usual advantage back. Slowly but surely, side bets became one of the reliable streams of revenue for casinos.
The basic strategy doesn't cover any side bets, and this is deliberate. Since the basic strategy covers all possibilities throughout the game, the fact that it doesn't include side bets should tell you a lot. Before you graduate to more advanced tactics, you’re not recommended to go into side bets.
Generally, card counting systems are elaborate and suit only experienced players. What we’ll talk about here is the Hi-Lo system. It is a slightly different, simplified version of card counting but still reliable.
The Hi-Lo system is based on the same idea as regular card counting – assigning different point values of the cards. The image below shows how card values affect the overall count.
As each card is dealt, you should update the running count with the new cards. The higher your count is, the more +1 cards have been dealt. This means the remaining shoe has more cards with a point value of -1 that gives a player an advantage. At this point, you should consider increasing your bet.
The shoe is neutral at zero, and as it goes into the negative, the higher the house’s advantage. You should either place smaller bets or leave the game. An important detail is that the count starts over once the deck is reshuffled, so keep an eye on that.
Both the basic strategy and card counting are legal, provided you're not using a counting machine. However, most land-based casinos deem this technique cheating and tend to kick players out for this reason.
This is why online casinos are the perfect places to practice all strategies. There is no risk of being blacklisted because no one can see you. And you won’t raise any flags when your winning streak gets so long that the casino begins to lose money.
We’ve taken you through the ins and outs of playing blackjack, and now you can get out there and have a go for yourself. Golden Star is an online casino where you can practice any strategy from the comfort of your own home. Take a look at our wide range of exciting game variations and enjoy your time playing them!Back to the blog