While Australia Internet Pokies primarily focuses on real money online pokies, we still have our finger on the pulse when it comes to other casino games. The most popular casino game after pokies is blackjack. If you like to play blackjack or are thinking about learning the game, here are seven tips to help you improve at blackjack.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
There is a lot of talk about basic strategy in blackjack, but what is it exactly? It’s the number one way on how to improve at blackjack, and it is basically a list of the best decisions to make mathematically in each scenario.
You can find the basic strategy often presented as a set of colour-coded charts. They tell you what to do when you find yourself with certain hands. For example, split aces and 8s, but never split 4s, 5s and 10s.
When you play with the basic strategy, you can cut the house edge in half for almost all blackjack games. For a standard blackjack game on a 3:2 table, the house edge can drop to as little as 0.5%. That’s an expected loss of 50 cents for every $100 wagered.
Avoid 6:5 Blackjack Tables
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when playing blackjack is choosing to play at tables that pay 6:5 on blackjack rather than 3:2. That’s because a 6:5 table actually pays less on blackjack than a 3:2 table.
What is a 6:5 blackjack game?
If you bet $100 and hit a blackjack, a 3:2 table will pay $150. On a 6:5 table, you’re only getting $120. That’s a difference of $30. Imagine how much money you’re giving up by playing a 6:5 table. Worse still, the house edge for 6:5 blackjack goes up to 1.5%. You can reduce your edge to just .5% on a 3:2 table with the right strategy.
Never Take Insurance
If you’re new to blackjack, Insurance is a side bet you can make in some blackjack games anytime a dealer is showing an ace. If you make the bet and the dealer has blackjack, you get 2 to 1 on your bet. Your initial bet still loses.
If you think about it, you’re betting twice as much money to break even. This is a losing bet over the long term. The general house edge on Insurance bets is 7.69%. That’s between 7 to 15 times the house edge of the base game. You’ll make more money by playing the hand normally and just taking your lumps when the dealer has blackjack.
Don’t Stand on Soft 17
A soft 17 is a hand containing an ace and six. Some people will stand on this hand mistakenly when they have a good chance to improve. The great thing is that no matter what you do, you cannot bust on a single hit. If you have a soft 17 and catch a king, you still have 17.
You can opt to hit or double down (if the rules allow it). If you learn a basic strategy, you’ll know the best spots to do so. However, even without a strategy, we can tell you to at least hit once. If you make a five or less, you’ll improve your hand to a likely winner.
Practice with a Single Deck
One of the most effective ways to improve at blackjack is to practice. Start with a single deck, allowing yourself to focus on one strategy and enabling you to learn how to count cards.
Whilst card counting is generally frowned upon, and difficult to do with multiple decks, it definitely gives players the edge. It will also increase the amount you can win at online blackjack.
Don’t Split 10 Point Cards
When you look down to 20 on the deal, it is tempting to split your hand. The logic is that you can give yourself a great chance of hitting two big hands. There a problem with this logic. First, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the cards you need.
Next, you’re starting with 20. The only way you’ll lose is if the dealer catches a blackjack or 21. While that happens, it will not happen often enough to justify a split. A dealt 20 is a high percentage winning hand. You’ll win more money by taking the win and moving on to the next hand.
The great thing about playing with a blackjack strategy is that you can use cheat cards and other resources while playing. Even with a strategy, the house still has an edge over you. However, the edge is a lot lower than if you don’t play with a strategy.
Play with your head not your gut
Don’t make bets or playing decisions based on gut feelings. Set yourself a bet limit and stick to it; responsible gambling means you won’t lose more than you can afford. Also, by deciding ahead of time how you’ll play your hands, you won’t blow your budget with rash bets.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding blackjack and the odds of winning.
How does the house win in blackjack?
The house edge for blackjack varies between 0.5% and 1.5%, depending on the rules of the house. What the casino relies on is rookie players, which will increase their edge dramatically. By following our tips, you’ll be able to keep the house edge at the lower end of the scale.
Can you win at blackjack without counting cards?
The short answer is yes, you can win games of blackjack without counting cards. However, it does mean you need to learn the basic strategy and some tactics in order to do so. What will really help is a sloppy dealer who flashes their hole card as they deal!
What are the chances of winning at blackjack?
The odds of winning at blackjack are fairly promising. The probability of a win are around 42.22%. That compares to the probability of a loss at 49.1% and of a draw at 8.48%.
How to win big at online poker?
To improve your chances of winning at online blackjack, and winning big, you need to learn the strategies. First of all the basic strategy on which hands to stick, split or surrender is key. If you learn to count cards, then you’ll have even more of an edge.