Category Archives: Blackjack

5 Tips You Need To Know On Winning In Blackjack

By Ruchi Patil.

Like any card game, blackjack definitely requires some luck as well being in the right place at the right time.  But blackjack is a lot more simpler to learn and excel at than more complex games like poker. The latter requires plenty of training, experience and strategizing. It can take years of practice to become a high-level player in poker, but it’s not the case with blackjack.1)Unless, of course, you take winning at blackjack more seriously and learn how to count cards and use other advantage play techniques.

Playing Blackjack

In poker, you’re trying to beat numerous opponents in any given game. In blackjack, it’s simply you versus the dealer. The goal is to get as close to the number of 21 without going over, however, in reality it is simply to beat the dealer. The dealer will give each blackjack player two cards face up.2)In some single and double deck games the player’s cards are dealt face down.  The dealer’s first card is face up and their second one is face down.

In standard games, blackjack uses a 52-card deck and the face cards are worth 10 points. For each turn, you can decide if you want to be “hit” (the dealer gives you another card), or “stand” (you don’t take an extra card).  Of course, there are other options you can take advantage of depending on the cards you have.

Online and mobile sports betting have launched in several U.S. states since 2018. The game of blackjack is extremely popular across the U.S., including in the Michigan online casinos industry.

Let’s now take a dive into five tips that will help you maximize your chances of winning.

  1. Splitting Aces and Eights

Ask just about any experienced blackjack player and they’ll suggest that you almost always split the aces and eights.

If you have a pair of cards that carry the same number (7s, 10s, etc.), you’re allowed to “split” them into separate hands. So if you are to get a pair of Aces (a value of two) or a pair of eights (value of 16), the smart bet is to always split.

The reason you should split aces is simple: You already have two points guaranteed and your odds of gaining a card with a value of 10 is high, meaning you could get as close to 21 as possible.

Splitting eights is widely encouraged because a hand of 16 is simply too high. If you keep the 16 and don’t split the eights, the odds are very likely that you’re going to end up with a number of over 16. You would need an ace, two, three, four or five just to win.

  1. Staying Laser-Focused

Casinos in many places all over the world will offer you free alcoholic beverages throughout the night. While this may come across as luxurious, casinos often do this because they know free beverages will likely keep you around longer, hence they have higher odds of taking in more of your money.

When it comes to blackjack, it’s important to keep a strong focus. If you’ve had a few drinks and if you’re fatigued and/or distracted you’re obviously less likely to stay concentrated in blackjack.

That means you’re more likely to commit more mistakes at the table, thus greatly decreasing your chances of winning. Staying alert, energized and focused will always help your chances of winning.  How do you know if you are making mistakes?  Anytime you don’t follow the basic strategy of the game you are making a mistake and giving the house an additional edge over you.

  1. Sit At Third Base

The “first base” spot in blackjack is the term for the player who sits at the far left side of the table, from the dealer’s perspective. The player at first base will draw their cards and play their hand first.

“Third base” is the position for the player at the far right side of the table and they’ll act on their hand last.  Do you have a small advantage to sitting at third as opposed to first?  Well, if you are counting cards, you will have a chance to see more cards and give yourself extra time to strategize.

  1. Don’t Split Tens Or Fives

If you draw two cards with values of 10 apiece, you’re already at 20. In this instance, you’ve got to play by the percentages. Just stand pat!

A pair of fives will leave you with 10. That’s a nice starting point, and again, you need to like your chances of drawing a card with a high value. Even if your third card is a small value (let’s say four or lower), the odds are decent enough that you’d draw a seven or less to get close to 21.

Your greatest advantages in this game are knowing when to split and double.

  1. Don’t Push Your Luck

Again, every card game and casino-related game will involve some luck. Even if you’re on a winning streak, it’s important to remember to quit while you’re ahead.

For instance, you might be on a roll where you’ve won eight out of ten games. And maybe in several of those games, you were fortunate to have received one of the two or three cards you needed most.

Keep in mind that luck is always bound to balance out. Just because you got lucky far more often than not in the early rounds, it doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way throughout the night.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and feel like you need to keep maximizing your win totals. But at some point, you need to play the odds and accept that your momentum isn’t going to last all night.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Unless, of course, you take winning at blackjack more seriously and learn how to count cards and use other advantage play techniques.
2In some single and double deck games the player’s cards are dealt face down.

11 Surprising Facts About Blackjack That You Didn’t Know

By Jeremy Smith.

Interesting Blackjack Facts

Blackjack is one of the oldest and most popular card and casino games on the planet. It is straightforward to learn and understand but incredibly tricky to master. It is also one of the few card games where your decisions are almost as important as luck.

If you love blackjack or want to know more about all the blackjack variations, here are 11 facts about one of the most famous card games of all time.

Shuffling Cards

Origins

There are two theories surrounding the origins of the game. Some believe the Romans played a version of blackjack. However, they used wooden blocks with numbers painted on them instead of cards.

The more likely theory is that it began in the 1700s in France, with a game known as Vingt-et-Un, or 21. This game was also a variation on a more popular game at the time, Chermin de Fer.  For more information on the history of blackjack check out BlackjackHistory.com.

You Can Make a Living

Blackjack is one of the few card games where you can make an actual living. This is due to multiple reasons, such as solid betting and playing strategies, the house edge, and the odds of winning hands.

While it isn’t recommended unless you can afford to lose money, blackjack is one of the best games to play if you want to give yourself the best chance of winning money.

House Edge

The house edge, or the default advantage a casino will have in a game, is less than 1% in blackjack. Considering some games can have a house edge of up to 15%, it is no wonder why blackjack is so popular.

Card Counting

You can “count cards” in blackjack, a strategy that helps you figure out what cards are left in a deck and which card is most likely to be dealt next. Card counting is also reasonably easy to learn, and there have even been several movies about it.

Lot of Cards

The Point of the Game

Many believe the point of blackjack is to get 21 or as close to it as you can every single hand. While this is obviously part of it, you are playing against the dealer and therefore trying to beat them. While you want to get 21, your real goal should be beating the dealer.

Popularity

In almost every gambling country, blackjack is the most popular table game. It has better odds than roulette, it is easier to play and understand than Craps or Poker, and you don’t need much, if any, experience to be successful at it.

Best Blackjack Strategy

Considering how simple the game is, having a winning strategy is actually a bit harder than you might think. However, back in 1953, four soldiers sat down to play a few hands of poker and decided instead to play blackjack.

What set these soldiers apart was the fact they all held Master’s degrees in mathematics and set out to find out the optimal strategy for playing blackjack. They published their paper, “The Optimum Strategy for Blackjack,” two years later.

Chances of Dealer Bust

Surprisingly, there is a very high chance of the dealer going bust every single hand. Unlike most other games where the dealer will always have an advantage, the dealer loses (by going over 21) almost a third of the time in blackjack.

Cards in Hand

The Worst Hand

There is a “death hand” of sorts in blackjack. Much like how you don’t want to be dealt 7 and 2 in poker, you don’t want 16 in blackjack. This is because 16 is too high to “hit,” as the majority of the deck will bust your hand, but 16 is also often too low.

The Worst Play in Blackjack

Ignoring abnormal plays such as hitting a 19 or 20 or standing on Ace-Ace, the worst play is standing on 8,8 versus 7, rather than splitting them! You will lose about 70 cents on the dollar each time you make this play. If you stick to basic strategy you won’t have to worry about questions like this!

The Best Hands

The best hands are 21, 20, or 19 of course. However, there are a few hands that don’t look great on the surface but are some of the best to play. One hand to look out for is 11 because it puts you in quite a powerful position.

An 11 is a perfect hand to double down on because, best-case scenario, you get 21.   Other good hands include pairs, such as 9s, against a small dealer up-card.  Splitting hands is a relatively advanced strategy, but it is a very useful one if you want to improve your chances of winning.  The basic strategy of the game covers all these scenarios.

PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash.com

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Improving Your Odds When Playing Blackjack – Five Tips for Success

BlackjackBy Joe Bakerz.

There are those largely uneducated individuals who feel that playing any type of casino or table game means effectively trusting your bets entirely to luck. They are wrong. While it’s true that luck plays a massive part in most activities you may encounter in a casino (online or offline), there are also some elements that are entirely in your own control.

When you are looking for the best casinos to play blackjack for real money, there are a number of factors to choosing one that works for your needs and, above all else, is secure and trustworthy. Once you’ve found a relevant provider that gives you this assurance and has a desktop and app service that is forward-thinking, progressive, and great fun to visit, you’ll then need to help improve your chances on the blackjack table.

Here are five simple tips that will help put the odds back in your favor.

Double Down When Appropriate

This should be a golden rule of any blackjack strategy. Put in simple terms, the idea here is to make hay while the sun is shining. In other words, when the odds are in your favor you should double down.  Generally, doubling down is appropriate when you have a 9 versus a small dealer card or 10 or 11 against most dealer cards.  For example, if you have 11 (a strong starting player hand) you should be ready to place more money on the table.  In cases like this, the chances are very much in your favor and these are occasions when you can’t afford to play it safe.

Split When You Get a Pair

This is another no-brainer.  Although not all pairs should be split, when basic strategy advises you to, splitting will improve your chances of a session win.  If the casino rules allow it, double down after splitting can also be highly profitable.

Quit When You Are Ahead

Do not push it. If you have done well and you start to see your pot dwindling, don’t keep pushing, be sensible. Set yourself financial boundaries both in terms of winnings and losses so that if you reach a point of no return in either direction, then you’ll know when to call it a day.

Remember, overall, you are playing for fun, and if you are losing far too much money, then chasing your losses is a fool’s game.  This is the case in all forms of gambling. 

Follow an Easy to Follow Blackjack Basic Strategy

Base your bets on what the dealer is presenting to you and adjust according to the dealer’s up-card. If your dealer has a ten, then you know you’ll probably need a strong hand to beat him.  Similarly, if the dealer has a poor up-card, such as a five or six, then you should push your advantage but also clearly pay attention to what you have. 

For example, you will often be standing with a poor hand when you see the dealer with a small card.  The hope here is to allow the dealer to bust (go over 21).  These type of decisions are called blackjack basic strategy.

Don’t Worry About Your Fellow Players

Remember, the object of the game is to beat the dealer.  What other players have isn’t really your concern.  The actions of other players at the table won’t affect the odds one bit.  Clearly, it may have an impact on what cards are available but remember you should be concerned about your hand and that of the dealer. You have no control over what other players do; only your own game matters.

Good luck!

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The Psychology of Blackjack: Can Students Develop Strategic Thinking When Playing Blackjack?

Blackjack on the brainBy Colleen Ross.

Strategic thinking is a valuable skill that allows people to evaluate particular events using solid facts. Those who excel in strategic consideration always pay attention to specific evidence and personal observations for judgment. It is a vital skill for students because it helps them assess the information they receive and form their standpoints. 

It’s a well-known fact that students who succeed in table games excel in strategic thinking. They can quickly tackle complicated math tasks and craft interesting academic papers. Blackjack is a popular card game that many people play. It can help students evolve their skills in different areas like any other game. Let’s dive deeper and discover if this card game helps undergraduates develop strategic consideration.

Ability To Be Suspicious

The approach of not believing everything that you’re told is one of the most effective ones. It helps win in card games too. To win, players need to rely on themselves only. They need to trust nobody because all counterparts may cheat to overcome their rivals. 

When playing blackjack, students learn to trust no one. It’s a very valuable skill that helps build strategic thinking. When undergraduates are suspicious of any facts, they discover they can compose papers of outstanding quality. The ability not to trust any information stimulates them to double-check all the findings they gather when researching. It helps them sort out facts from fake or untrusted / unreliable sources. 

Discovering Opposite Ideas

Skilled players have vast experience in analyzing people’s behavior. They observe behavior patterns and signs that help understand the ideas and intentions of their opponents. The ability to discover opposite ideas is one of the top skills students can develop when playing blackjack. Meanwhile, it can help build strategic consideration. 

For instance, when learners can analyze people’s behavior and predict their potential actions. It can help undergraduates to understand how to communicate with particular people. If they know that a tutor won’t accept an extension request, they may decide to pay for essays. It is a smart step when they can hardly deliver all the assignments on time. When reaching professional writers, undergraduates manage to delegate their burdening tasks and get their homework completed by skilled writers on time. They receive ready-to-submit papers even if they have a tight schedule. 

Detailed Plans Building

Detailed planning is a key characteristic of strategic thinking. Knowing how to build plans to win when playing blackjack is required. To win, players need to set goals and understand how to achieve them. Also, detailed planning skills need players to understand the possible consequences of every move. Therefore, students who like playing blackjack can develop strategic consideration that can be advantageous. When learners can build thorough plans and follow them, they can achieve outstanding academic results.

If you’re a student who can hardly create detailed plans and update them upon demand, you might have problems composing academic tasks on time. Those students frequently order essay online to get their homework completed by professional writers. The best assignments writing platform helps learners complete their academic papers quickly and without any stress.

Fast Thinking

Every move of a hand changes the situation on a game board. Players have only several seconds to analyze changes in situations and come up with new decisions. They need to adjust their plans constantly to come up with the best ideas to win. Analyzing situations that are frequently affected by many factors is a very useful skill that helps learners update their plans fast. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to build a roadmap that will imply any possible changes. Therefore, those who can think fast and develop new plans, having only several seconds have better strategic thinking skills. Blackjack is one of the most popular games that can help develop it. 

Sometimes, details and small changes play a vital role in every plan. People also need to be attentive to details to succeed when playing blackjack. Players need to pay attention to all odds and consider them. The adherence to small details is one of the top skills that help develop strategic reasoning. For instance, card counting is one of the actions that can help boost strategic thinking. 

Meticulous Learning and Memorizing

Indeed, it’s impossible to become a great blackjack player without knowing all the rules. It’s vital to know all the detailed rules to be ahead of the game. Therefore, blackjack lovers frequently spend many hours reading rules and learning them hard. They help understand how other players may act and the possible outcomes of every step. 

Learning is key to strategic thinking development because it helps understand the possible strategies of other players. Therefore, it’s vital to become a meticulous learner to succeed in blackjack. It would be best if you were ready to spend many hours learning all of them. Also, it’s vital to review your knowledge regularly. 

To play blackjack successfully, you also have to study, analyze and memorize different strategies and methods.   But, unlike games like poker, other player’s actions usually don’t have an effect on your play. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Colleen Ross is an experienced traveler who is addicted to traveling, bird watching, and aircraft model constructing.

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Blackjack Strategies: The Advantages And Risks Of Card Counting

Blackjack FanduelBy Heather Vargas.

Winning and earning what you wagered for is the best goal you can have when participating in blackjack games. Although it may look like a game of chance, at first sight, this popular casino game is a complicated and perplexing one that reels its players in. Blackjack incorporates numerous strategies to put the players on the edge of their seats, one of which is card counting.

What Is Card Counting?

In any game, a good strategy can put players at a greater advantage. To play blackjack is no different. Card counting is a blackjack technique that gives a significant upper hand to the players with a statistical advantage. The players that count cards can determine if they have the advantage on the next hand or the dealer.

Players that determine their advantage is positive will bet higher amounts. If card counting is executed correctly, they can improve their odds in the game. Moreover, there are different card counting systems, but the most popular is the Hi-Lo or High-Low strategy. It is a simple strategy that you can undertake mentally by tallying the three groups of cards.

Method

To explain, card counting “tags” the cards. For Hi-Lo, cards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are tagged as a plus one. So, every time you see those numbers, you would add one to your count. On the other hand, a ten or ace are tagged as minus 1. So, you reduce the amount to your running count. Meanwhile, cards 7, 8, and 9 are considered neutral and thus tagged as zero.

After the cards are dealt, you will then start the running count. The running card works by adding or subtracting one to all the cards face up. In other words, you tag every card that comes out of the shoe until the cards are shuffled.

If the running count starts to decrease and goes negative, the odds of the dealers are increasing. In contrast, if the running count has risen sufficiently, then the advantage can shift to the player.1)Of course, there are many fine points to card counting such as converting what is known as the running count to a true count,  play variations and bankroll requirements.

Keep in mind that the essence of blackjack is the bet. Now that you are aware of the possible odds, you must then move your bets in relation to them. You need to make use of the advantage that is presented to you. Bet big if the odds are in your favor and hold back if not.

Blackjack

Card Counting Advantages

First of all, card counting is not illegal. You can enjoy and have a good time in blackjack casino games with this strategy without the risk of being kicked out or thrown into jail. It is convenient and greatly advantageous once you master its art.

Aside from that, card counting is an excellent way to push retaliation to the casino house without intimidation or other unnecessary devices. It is a pure game of wits and tricks that you must deliberately proceed with. To further increase your efficiency, you must increase your bet.

If you are good at doing mental counting, the house will unknowingly proceed with the game, and the odds can be in your favor. Concerning this, the average house advantage is at 0.5 percent, so you will only most likely lose at least 50 cents for every hundred dollars you bet. Now, if you use card counting, you could strategically shift the odds more in your favor and lower the amounts lost.

Risk Factors of Card Counting

Card counting may not be illegal, but there are still things at stake. As long as the players do not use any devices that aid them in counting, they are clear. However, casinos have the right to deny services to people that count cards and ban players that violate them. Keep in mind that every gambling house has a different set of rules. 

This now makes card counting and strategy charts risky strategies that can kick you out and, sometimes, get you listed in their database. The establishment will be warned about your presence and reduce your chance to sit at any table to play.

Moreover, although card counting can give you a long run advantage, on some days, it will seem like winning is impossible.  This is due to the variance in the game and you can expect large swings whether you are counting or not. 

On the other hand, the casino is where most people socialize and have fun. If you are playing this casino game for entertainment, learning card counting might eventually decrease your excitement. You might also get lost in your counting strategy and forget to interact with other players. In the end, if your reason to play is entertainment, you lose your reason to play.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the best blackjack strategy is the technique that works best for you. Card counting is suitable for serious blackjack players who are looking to gain an advantage over the casino.  Regardless of the strategy, it would be best to stick to strategies that are simple to master and implement.  If your reason to play is entertainment, your best strategy is often to simply memorize blackjack basic strategy.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Of course, there are many fine points to card counting such as converting what is known as the running count to a true count,  play variations and bankroll requirements.

The Blackjack Table: What is the design of a traditional table?

Splitting Aces and Eights BlackjackBy Catalin Constantin.

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around, with millions of gambling enthusiasts regularly continuing to play the classic title.  You can play blackjack sessions virtually or physically.

One of the reasons this game has enjoyed the kind of interest it has from punters all around the world is due to the simplicity of the game. This can be in regard to the rules of the game, however, it could also be due to the fact that the blackjack table is also very simple to understand and use when playing, too.

Indeed, it is wise and perhaps very important to understand everything about the blackjack table before playing the game.  This can help to increase the chance of having a positive experience when sitting at the table.

With that in mind, this article will take a look at the design and layout of a traditional blackjack table. Whether you play online blackjack in NJ or you decide to head to a traditional Las Vegas-style casino, you will immediately know what to expect and how to utilize the table after reading this post!

Blackjack Table
Blackjack tables can often come in different colors and arrangements.

What does the blackjack table look like?

The first thing that many will notice when they sit at a table specifically designed for the game of blackjack is the shape. It is typically designed to be in the shape of an oval, as this will help to sit as many players in one seating, whilst also allowing the dealer to be as accessible to everyone too.

Furthermore, at the end of the table which is flat and where the dealer will typically stand, the shoe from which the cards are dealt is placed here. The shoe is rectangular, unless it is an automatic shuffler, and has the capability of holding up to eight decks.  Of course, depending on the game of blackjack being played, there may only be one or two decks being used, in which case are typically dealt by hand.

Most tables will be covered in a felt material, which will typically either be green or red, although it should not come as a surprise if the former of the two colors were spotted more often than not. Additionally, there are spaces available on the table that are designated for each player where they are able to place their bet and show the hand that they have.

Moreover, many blackjack tables will either have a card that will highlight the rules of the game, whilst some will have it printed on the table, including payouts and whether insurance bets are possible to place.  Of course, one the most important rules to look for is whether blackjack’s pay the full 3 to 2 payoff.

Blackjack Rules of the Game
Main blackjack rules are often imprinted on the felt.

Where do the players and the dealer stand and sit?

We mentioned it briefly above, however it is important to understand where players and the dealer are positioned around the table.  This can enhance the overall experience and potentially make it more positive from the beginning as it will install a sense of calmness to those who have perhaps never played before, especially when they set foot in a traditional brick-and-mortar casino.

Firstly, the players will be seated or standing alongside the curved edge of the oval-shaped table, with it is possible to have up to seven players (typically) playing at any one time. Some tables will only allow five players at one time, although this is something that is different everywhere.

The dealer will then be standing on the opposite side of the table and will be facing each bettor from the flat edge. This allows them to see each player and be able to deal effectively with the shoe that has been placed next to them.

It should be noted that the player to the left of the croupier1)A croupier is just another name for the dealer and is more widely used in Europe. is known as third base, whilst the player to the right is known as the first base; perhaps an easy way to remember this is to think of the layout as being similar to a baseball field and its four bases?

Is there a right blackjack table?

You might be wondering whether there is a right blackjack table to choose from, however it is perhaps more of a question about the type of game you want to play rather than making sure the right type of table has been chosen.  In addition to any rules imprinted on the felt you will often see a sign at the edge of the table that reveals the minimum and maximum bets allowed and any other specific rules allowed such as when you can double and split, etc.

Different variants of the game will also have different options available, however a traditional blackjack table will generally have the same type of layout that we described above. 

Classic Blackjack Table Design
A classic blackjack layout with green felt.

IMAGE CREDIT: TurboSquid.com

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1A croupier is just another name for the dealer and is more widely used in Europe.

Blackjack is the Most Played Game Within an Online Casino…

By Alex

… and Here’s Why!

Blackjack has always been one of the most popular casino table games and it continues to be so today — both online and in physical casinos.  With rules that are easy to understand and the potential to beat the dealer with skill makes this an ideal betting game.

With online blackjack gambling, and in most live games, the dealer deals two cards to players face up and two cards to himself (or herself), with one card face down.  The object of the game, of course, is to beat the dealer.  You can do this by getting closer to 21 than the dealer or by letting the dealer bust.  If you get 21 on the first two cards you get a bonus payoff and the hand is called a blackjack.

Online Blackjack

Most players like blackjack because it is simple to play while still being quite entertaining and thought provoking.  To understand the rules, the learning curve is quite easy.  The game also caters to players who want to play for free up to high-stakes.  And most importantly, the odds of winning in blackjack are higher than those of winning at most all other casino games.

Although the rules of blackjack are easy to master, it takes some effort to improve your odds in the game.  Your first step is a mastery of simple blackjack basic strategy.  Most people can memorize the appropriate chart for the game you are playing in a few hours. If you do this, you reduce the house edge to the lowest possible percentage.

The game of blackjack can be mastered, however, with the assistance of additional strategies and methods. The following factors below are the reasons why anybody can beat the blackjack game.

A certain technique to win at blackjack is called counting cards.  This is one of the most effective and proven strategies for beating the game. Cards must be counted with a great deal of accuracy and focus. The ability to concentrate and be precise is important when playing this game, as you will need to think quickly and make quick decisions. 

Another factor that might contribute to the ease with which blackjack can be defeated is the player’s age. At a young age, particularly in late adolescence and early adulthood, the brain operates at its quickest pace. This helps most younger players to learn anything fairly rapidly.  Anyone can beat blackjack since they can quickly come up with fresh methods and plays quicker than their older counterparts.1)EDITOR NOTE: I might have to agree partially with this idea.  Although my card counting skills are probably not what they were 30 years ago, I like to think that I make up for it in wisdom. :-)

Blackjack is a thinking man’s (or woman’s) game.  It is, none the less, a game of chance and should be treated as such.  As you perfect your skills, you should always keep your wagers low until you are confident in your abilities.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1EDITOR NOTE: I might have to agree partially with this idea.  Although my card counting skills are probably not what they were 30 years ago, I like to think that I make up for it in wisdom. :-)

Can You Play Blackjack Online in Canada?          

Online Casinos in CanadaBy Stephen Atcheler.

Yes!  Blackjack is played with six or eight full decks of cards. It features a house edge starting from as little as 0.5%, making it one of the card games with the best odds. 

Play for Free

If you aren’t sure how to play, don’t worry – you can play online blackjack for free to improve your skills. You will have fun, become familiar with the rules and strategies, and more. You can later play for real money. It’s up to you.

Types of Blackjack

There are different types or variations of blackjack you can play online in Canada and elsewhere. They include classic blackjack, the most popular kind, progressive blackjack, blackjack switch, live blackjack, digital blackjack and more.

Classic blackjack is the easiest to learn. You get two cards facing up. The dealer has the same number of cards, but one is visible while the other is facing down.

In this version of the game, side bets are not possible.

Progressive

You can win a progressively increasing amount of money with this kind. There is also a particular side bet at a fixed price.

You have to bet on this and fulfill the respective requirements to win the progressive jackpot. It’s usually given for four aces.

Switch

This version of blackjack involves wagering on two hands per round. Players can switch two cards around after the first deal.  However, you only win even money on a blackjack, not 3:2.

Blackjack Chip Rack and Cards

Live Dealer Blackjack

Live dealer blackjack is available at online blackjack sites in Canada. You watch the game as it unfolds in real-time and bet on the virtual interface.

The dealer deals the cards. In the process, he scans them to transmit the information instantly. This type of blackjack is most popular among versions of blackjack played online. Not only is the dealer real, but also the table and the cards. All the action is in real-time. People feel like they are on location in a real casino, but they’re actually enjoying the comfortable surroundings of their own home.

The cards have large digits, so they’re very easy to read. You can choose to play multiple hands at the same time. The cards are dealt randomly. They are shuffled and drawn from the shoe right before the viewer.

Spanish

The main difference between this type of blackjack and the others is that Spanish blackjack excludes all tens. The victory is always with a 21 regardless of the dealer’s value. What’s more, you have bonus 21 payoffs depending on your cards.

Digital Blackjack

This version of blackjack lets you play at your own tempo, which is definitely an advantage. As the dealer deals the cards faster, you can opt for quicker game-play. You don’t have to wait for the other players to make a move.

Alternatively, you can opt to play slower and take time to think before deciding anything. Nobody else is waiting for you, so this is a perfectly good option.

How to win at blackjack

If you use proper blackjack strategy, you can lower the casino’s edge. Blackjack strategy websites provide a full rundown of the perfect moves in every situation. The best ones will show you the odds and your chances of victory if you have been dealt specific cards.

Probabilities and Odds

The probabilities and the odds are two key things to understand when you play this card game. You must be aware of your odds of winning and the likelihood of losing no matter what cards you have been dealt.

Take Your Time and be Patient

It takes practice, patience, and exploration to be successful. Eventually, you will be able to calculate the likelihood of losing when you decide to add a card to whatever you’ve been dealt. Let’s say you have a card value of 12. The probability of an additional card eliminating your chance of winning is 31% in this case.

This rises to 85%, with a greater hand value of 19. No one is claiming that it’s all simple to figure out, but taking the risk of an additional card will be easier to evaluate once you get your head around the odds.

In the simplest of terms, the value of your hand is directly proportional to the risk that comes with an extra card. As you play, don’t lose sight of this.

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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.

Offline Versus Online Blackjack: 7 Key Considerations

By Mickey Coyne.

Pondering whether you should focus on online or offline blackjack and not sure where to start? To reach a decision, there are some key considerations to make:

  1. Accessibility

Even in times of normalcy, accessibility to a casino may be an issue for you in case you reside outside of a major city. If this applies to you or if you’re looking for safe ways to practice a blackjack system, online casinos host a myriad of free blackjack games to brush up on your skills before playing for real money.

  1. Pressure

In an online casino, you can take all the time you want to make your move. In its traditional brick & mortar counterparts, however, there’s a constant pressure to keep things moving at a steady pace, both on the dealer’s end as well as from those who are waiting for their turn to play.

Blackjack Pit
Casinos tend to be quite busy during peak hours.

 

  1. Number of decks

If you’re into card counting, you’ll have more luck playing at traditional casinos. The reason being is that an online casino utilizes several decks that are further randomized and shuffled using a sophisticated random number generator. This all but renders even the most advanced card counting approaches completely ineffective.

  1. Atmosphere

Depending on what you’re looking for when playing blackjack, the overall atmosphere may be a vital consideration. Do you get energized by spending quality time with others or are you fine with playing alone in your apartment? The player experience you’re after will help you determine whether online or offline casinos are a better choice for you personally.

  1. Player rewards

What are you looking for in terms of player rewards?  Online casino rewards can be quite lucrative, but they’re also different compared to what a traditional offline casino might offer. The latter, for instance, may reward your loyalty with a free stay at one of the establishment’s accompanying hotels, complimentary drinks and meals, or even shopping credits, whereas the former will offer cashback, reload bonuses, and more.

  1. Strategy assistance

Playing blackjack optimally is incredibly easy when playing online. There’s nothing stopping you from using your personal list of rules or a blackjack strategy chart. With its help, you can make the right play in any situation. If, however, you were thinking about whipping out your trusty strategy chart in a traditional casino, someone might look at you sideways. Remember: in an offline environment, proper casino etiquette goes a long way.

  1. Hands per hour

Depending on how busy the table is, you can expect to play somewhere in the ballpark of 30 to 50 hands in a traditional offline casino. In an online blackjack room, shooting for 100 hands an hour is entirely realistic, so the difference can be anywhere from 2x to 3x. If you’re working on improving your decision-making speed, you need to position yourself in an environment that allows you to use your time as efficiently as possible.

Conclusion

Offline vs. online blackjack is a never-ending debate and there are no clear winners. What’s right for you may be unsuitable for someone else and vice-versa. But based on the factors covered above, you should be well equipped to make the right decision in regard to what works best for you.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

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