On the Road to an Advanced Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack - AQ of HeartsBy David Walker.

Blackjack is reputed to date all the way back to the 16th century and even making an appearance in early literature.  Blackjack is quite possibly the world’s favorite casino game. With its storied history of global domination, card counting mishaps, big wins and dramatic losses, it’s perhaps no surprise that the game is as famous as it is.  

Aside from its colorful past, ask any blackjack player what it is that draws them to the game and they’ll probably tell you it’s blackjack’s inherent simplicity – its rules and game-play are much more straightforward than, say, a game of H.O.R.S.E.1)H.O.R.S.E. is a multi-game version of poker.  It refers to rounds of Texas Hold’em, Omaha hi-lo split-eight or better, Razz, Seven card Stud and Seven card Stud hi-lo split-eight or better. poker. 

However, that doesn’t mean blackjack is without its challenges.  Players who have been in the game for some time need to refresh their strategies now and then to prevent them from becoming complacent.  Read on to discover our advice for developing your advanced gaming strategy. Whether you’re playing blackjack online at a digital gaming platform or are heading to your favorite brick and mortar gaming rooms our essential tips will have you playing like a pro in no time at all.  

Clarify Your Goals 

When you first began playing blackjack, you likely had different goals to what you have now. As a beginner, in addition to just surviving your first few games, you would’ve been looking to lower the house edge to 1% or less with your gaming strategy. Then, as you progressed, you would’ve mixed up your techniques to lower the house edge even further.  

As an advanced player, however, your goal is to play as often as possible with a significant advantage over the house. If you want to consistently turn a profit at blackjack, you need to utilize techniques that give you the best possible chances from the outset. 

Revisit the Basics 

It goes without saying, but applying more advanced techniques to your blackjack strategy is only possible once you’ve mastered the basics. By now, you should be adept at playing optimally – knowing when to hit and stand during a game, for example – and have an in-depth understanding of when you should double down, split and play hard or soft hands.  

Take an objective look at how you’re playing too. To do this, you should always document your sessions – your wins and losses, time played, casino and game type.  By now, you should be well versed in playing the long game and no longer subject to impulsive plays or rookie mistakes.  

Insurance Bets 

Old school players will tell you that if you want to play blackjack optimally, you should never take out insurance wagers. However, as an advanced player, you’ll find there will be times when it could be in your best interests to take out insurance. Experienced card counters for example (more on that below) will often rely on insurance wagers when they’re confident the deck is rich in ten valued cards.

Dealing Blackjack

Card Counting  

Despite popular misconceptions – no doubt fueled by its portrayal in movies like Rain Man and 21 – card counting is not illegal in the casino.   Inherently, it’s an advanced blackjack strategy that is focused on evaluating a deck or shoe and adapting your play to whichever cards remain. Essentially, all you’re doing when you’re counting cards is keeping a tally of certain cards and using that information to inform what decisions you make next. 

If you aren’t well versed in blackjack basic strategy, card counting is not recommended – even the most experienced card counters play basic strategy the majority of the time. It’s also not a quick fix. In the short run, your bankroll will increase and drop and it’s only over the long run that you’ll be able to see consistent results. 

Blackjack Pit

Betting Systems 

Most blackjack players who’ve been at the table will have heard of betting systems such as Martingale, Labouchere, D’Alembert, Paroli, etc.  These progressive type betting systems are not recommended as they do not give the player any true advantage in the game.   However, they can often be used to camouflage a card counter’s betting strategy which is designed to give the player an advantage. 

More Advanced Strategies

There are, of course, more advanced blackjack strategies but they all start with a knowledge of basic strategy and card counting. You will find everything you need to expand your knowledge on this site.

PHOTO 1 CREDIT: pxfuel.com

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1H.O.R.S.E. is a multi-game version of poker.  It refers to rounds of Texas Hold’em, Omaha hi-lo split-eight or better, Razz, Seven card Stud and Seven card Stud hi-lo split-eight or better.

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