Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. The game’s simplicity and relatively low house edge have made it a favorite among players looking to beat the odds.
However, winning at blackjack takes more than just luck. It requires strategy and skill to come out on top consistently. In this article, we will discuss how to play blackjack, how to learn basic blackjack strategy, and three new game plans to try out at the tables.
How to play blackjack in a casino: Basic Rules
Blackjack is a card game played with one or more decks of 52 cards. Aces count as either one or eleven, face cards (king, queen, jack) count as ten, and all other cards count as their face value.
The game’s objective is to beat the dealer by having a hand with a value closer to 21 without going over.
The game begins with each player receiving two cards face up, while the dealer receives one card face up and one card face down. Players then have the option to “hit” and receive additional cards, or “stand” and keep their current hand. Players can continue to hit until they decide to stand or go over 21, which is called “busting.”
Once all players have completed their turn, the dealer reveals their face-down card and hits until they reach a hand value of 17 or higher. If the dealer busts, all remaining players win.
If the dealer doesn’t bust, the player with the highest hand value without going over 21 wins. If the player and dealer have the same hand value, it’s a tie or “push.”
Blackjack Basic Strategy
The key to winning at Blackjack is understanding and implementing basic strategy.
Basic strategy is a mathematically proven method of playing every possible hand combination against the dealer’s upcard. By following a basic strategy, players can minimize the house edge and improve their chances of winning.
Players should first memorize a blackjack strategy chart to learn basic strategy, which outlines the recommended play for every possible hand combination against the dealer’s upcard. These charts can be found online or in blackjack strategy books. Once players have memorized the chart, they should practice playing with it until they can make the correct play without hesitation.
It’s important to note that basic strategy only guarantees a win on some hands. However, by consistently making the mathematically optimal play, players can reduce the house edge to as low as 0.5%, making blackjack one of the best bets in the casino.
3 New Blackjack Strategies
While basic strategy is an essential tool for any serious blackjack player, several advanced strategies can be used to gain an edge over the casino. Here are three new blackjack strategies to try out at the tables:
1. The Hi-Lo Count
The Hi-Lo Count is a card-counting strategy that professional blackjack players have used for decades. The strategy involves assigning a value of +1, 0, or -1 to each card that is dealt. Cards 2-6 are assigned a value of +1, cards 7-9 are assigned a value of 0, and cards 10-Ace are assigned a value of -1.
As the cards are dealt, the player keeps a running count of the values. A positive count means that there are more high cards (10s and Aces) left in the deck, which is beneficial to the player. A negative count means that there are more low cards (2-6) left in the deck, which is beneficial to the dealer.
Once the count reaches a certain level, the player can adjust their bets accordingly. When the count is positive, the player should increase their bets, and when the count is negative, the player should decrease their bets or avoid making big bets altogether. Using the Hi-Lo Count, players can gain an edge of up to 1.5% over the casino.
2. The Martingale System
The Martingale betting system is a strategy that has been used in various casino games, including blackjack. The strategy involves doubling your bet after every loss and returning to your original bet after a win.
For example, if a player bets $10 and loses, they would then bet $20 on the next hand. If they win, they will return to their original bet of $10. If they lose again, they will bet $40 on the following hand, and so on.
The idea behind the Martingale System is that eventually, the player will win and recoup all of their previous losses. However, there is a risk of hitting the table limit or running out of funds before this happens.
It’s important to note that the Martingale System doesn’t increase the player’s chances of winning, but rather changes the size of their bets.
3. The Ace-Five Count
The Ace-Five Count is a simpler version of the Hi-Lo Count that is easier for beginners to learn and use. The strategy involves keeping a running count of only Aces and Fives. Aces are assigned a value of -1, and Fives are assigned a value of +1.
As the cards are dealt, the player keeps a running count of the values. When the count is positive, the player has an advantage and should increase their bets. When the count is negative, the player should decrease their bets or avoid making big bets altogether.
The Ace-Five Count is less effective than the Hi-Lo Count, but it can still give players an edge of up to 0.5% over the casino.
Keep this Guide in Mind as You Work to Improve your Blackjack Strategy
Blackjack is a game of skill that can be mastered with practice and the right strategies. By learning basic strategies and trying out advanced strategies like the Hi-Lo Count, the Martingale System, and the Ace-Five Count, players can improve their chances of winning and beat the odds at the blackjack tables and at online casinos.
It’s important to remember that no strategy can guarantee a win on every hand, and that the house always has an edge in the long run.
However, by using the right strategies and managing their bankroll effectively, players can increase their chances of walking away from the table with a profit.