Blackjack Gambling Information by Casino Review Pages

For an easy to learn game that depends on skill as well as luck. For inside information about famous gambling strategies, blackjack is your choice.

Blackjack Rules:

There are three things you must remember in order to increase your odds of winning.

  1. Your aim is to get a point value higher than the dealer, not as close to 21. Forgetting this leads many players to bust more than they should.
  2. The dealer has no free will and has to follow a set of rules regardless of his position. Even if the dealer has a winning hand with a total of 16 he still has to hit even with the possibility of busting.
  3. The dealer has the advantage in that all players go first. If you bust first you lose even if the dealer busts later in the game.
Basic game strategy

The basic game strategy is the most important thing to know on your way to becoming a winning blackjack player. This is the best way to play every possible situation. In this way you use statistical analysis to predict the outcome of various hands. You then play your cards the way that is statistically the most likely to result in a win.

Because the dealer must play using the house rules he must always hit with a hand of 16 or less and stand with a hand of 17 or more (some casinos allow the dealer to hit on a soft 17). One of the dealer's cards is face-up for all players to see, and the next predictions for the dealer going bust have been computed.

Dealers face-up card is: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
Percentage chance of busting: 35 37 40 42 42 26 24 23 23 17

It is clearly seen that the dealer has a better chance of busting when his face - up card is a six or smaller value card, and less if the face - up card has a value of seven or more. Based on this information the following blackjack strategy was developed:

Hard hand rules (When an Ace must be counted as one)

If the player is dealt a hand totaling 17 to 21 he should stand, the probability of busting on a hit is high. A player who is dealt a hand totaling 12 to 16 when the dealer is showing a low value card (2 to 6) should stand. There is a high probability that the dealer will bust and the player will then win. A player who is dealt a hand totaling 12 to 16 when the dealer is showing a high value card (7 to Ace) should hit. There is a low probability that the dealer will bust and the player should try to improve his hand in order to win with a higher total.

Soft hand rules (Ace counted as a one OR an eleven)

Most casinos allow an ace to be played as either a 1 or 11, whichever value is most valuable to the holder. When a player has an ace that is being used as an 11, it's referred to as a "soft hand". These hands are played differently as the player cannot draw to a soft hand and bust (the player just revalues the Ace to count as 1 instead of 11). The basic strategy for playing soft hands is to double down when the dealer has a high probability of busting (low value face-up cards).

Players Hand Strategy

Soft 19 or 20: Stand
Soft 18: Stand if the dealer is showing 2,7 or 8.
Hit if the dealer is showing 9,10 or Ace.
Double if the dealer is showing 3,4,5 or 6.
Soft 17: Hit if the dealer is showing 2, 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace.
Double if the dealer is showing 3,4,5 or 6.
Soft 16 or 15: Hit if the dealer is showing 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace.
Double if the dealer is showing 4,5 or 6.
Soft 14 or 13: Hit if the dealer is showing 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace.
Double if the dealer is showing 5 or 6.

Doubling down strategy

Doubling down allows you to enlarge your bet when the chances of winning are good. In these situations you should always bet the maximum amount allowed. Doubling down should be done ONLY when you have a better chance of winning than the dealer, or when you stand to earn more profit by doubling down than by hitting the hand. Rules for doubling down vary from one casino to another; usually you can only double down after you receive your initial two cards and before you draw a third card, but some casinos only allow the option on certain hand values (usually 9, 10 or 11).

Hard hand rules for doubling down

Double down when:

Soft hand rules for doubling down

Double down when:

Splitting pairs strategy

Splitting pairs should be done in direct relation to their value.

Never split a pair of tens or a pair of fives. With two tens you have a total of 20 which is more than likely to be a winning hand, while a pair of fives total 10 and you have a better chance of drawing a 10 than any other value for a win. You should always split Aces and eights. Again you have a better chance of drawing a card worth 10 than any other and then you have either 21 (for Aces) or 18 (for eights) - both are hard for the dealer to beat. All other splitting decisions are made depending on the dealer's face-up card in general split when the dealer is showing a low value face-up card.

Split when:
Surrendering strategy

This option is not popular and is not offered in many casinos. You surrender when you have a hand that has a very poor chance of winning. When surrendering you stop playing and lose half of your bet (consequently keeping half of the bet instead of losing it all).

When playing multiple deck blackjack games you should only surrender when:

When playing two deck Blackjack games you should only surrender when:

Counting Cards

Chances are you have heard about card counting before. Most likely, you too imagine someone remembering every card that has been played and then drawing a conclusion on the next card. That is NOT how card counting works.

Surprisingly different from its fame, card counting is straightforward. All it involves is simple adding and subtracting of numbers. The idea is to determine whether or not the cards in the deck(s) favor the player or the dealer. However, don't get us wrong, card counting requires skill and a lot of practice together with knowledge of the basic strategy. Experienced card counters still play by the basic strategy most of the time. To use card counting successfully you must be able to count fast while looking like just another casual player.

What exactly do we count? A deck, which still has a high content of 10 valued cards in it, generally favors the player. On the other hand, a game with a lot of low value cards generally favors the dealer.

The high low point count system

This method is called the High-Low Point Count System. It is a basic card counting system, which is very easy to learn and therefore recommended for beginners. Being easy to learn does however not mean it is easy to use. It requires a lot of practice. You must be able to count fast, so you can keep up with the ongoing game and prevent suspicion arising. Be sure to practice before you play!

With the High-Low Point Count System every card is given a certain value such as follows:

Card value Count
2,3,4,5,6 +1
7,8,9 0
10, Ace -1

Using this legend, all you have to do now is add up a +1, 0, or -1 for every card dealt during the game.

Player 1 is dealt 2 and 10
Player 2 is dealt Ace and 9
Player 3 is dealt 6 and 8
Dealer shows a 10

Your calculation will be (+1 -1) for Player 1, (- 1 + 0) for Player 2, (+1 + 0) for Player 3 and -1 for the Dealer. Adding them up brings you to a total count of -1.

Drawing your conclusion

When your total count is around 0 or lower, like in our example, you should only place the minimum bet. However, when the count rises to +2 or even higher the deck is in your favor. This is the time to raise your bet.

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