Tag Archives: online poker

How to Win At Blackjack: The 6 Best Ways

Blackjack Basic StrategyBy Regina Muratov

Every gambler, whether a beginner or veteran, desires to break a big bankroll. However, beginners usually have a challenge as they don’t have enough experience to win as consistently as they would like. It is critical to note that each casino game, whether online or on land, has its own rules and unique ways to win.  In the game of poker, for example, the first step would be to identify the best poker sites, which you can do on theedgepoker.com, which also provides online poker guides. In this guide, you will learn how to play blackjack and win. Read the tips, record, and practice!

Play All Hands Correctly

Online blackjack is similar to playing blackjack in a land-based casino. Your target is to get an optimal combination of cards that will beat the dealer’s hand without leading to busting. However, it would help if you played all hands correctly to succeed. 

You should also bear in mind that the number of hands in blackjack is strictly limited. Therefore, you ought to work out each hand as though it was the last. Also, don’t disregard the weak cards because you can easily win a round with them.  For instance, if you receive cards 7 and 5, you have a hard 12. But, that generally does not differ from other combinations like 8 and 4 or 9 and 3. You should also note that there are very many winning options in a game of blackjack.  How you play a hand such as a 12 is what comes next.

Use a Strategy Card

Throughout the game session, use of a simple blackjack basic strategy card (such as in the image above) will enable you to optimize the best hands with your initial cards. These cards are readily available and casino legal. You can refer to the strategy card to make sure you make the right decision on every hand dealt to you. This will help you avoid costly mistakes.  As you improve your skills you will want a more accurate basic strategy to optimize your play.  Continue reading.

Play Games with Liberal Rules Only

Search for blackjack tables that have the most open-minded playing rules. It is advisable to go for tables that pay 3-2 on a blackjack. On the other hand, avoid games with a 6 to 5 payoff

Other good blackjack rules are dealers stand on soft 17, players are allowed to double down on any two cards, doubling after splitting is allowed and surrender is available.  Moreover, the fewer decks the better.   Of course, none of these rules are useful unless you know how to optimally take advantage of them.

Learn the Exact Basic Playing Strategy

Blackjack is not a guessing game. Outstanding mathematicians have been researching the game of blackjack for over 60 years. Their research has established that there is an optimal way to play every hand dealt to you. 

The optimal blackjack strategy, also known as the basic playing strategy, allows you to minimize the house edge to less than 1%. This will happen when you use the strategy on every hand you play and avoid guessing.  An excellent set of these advanced ultimate basic strategy cards is available by Don Schlesinger.  These cards are designed for each rule and game type.

Avoid Making the Insurance Wager

Avoid making the insurance wager no matter the amount of money you wagered on your hand. Insurance is a sucker bet where you bet that the dealer will have a ten-value down-card to go with her Ace up-card. A winning insurance wager will pay 2-1 while the probability of winning is worse than 2-1. 

Essentially, the insurance wager is only a side-bet in this game.  The house advantage for this bet in an eight-deck game is over 7%.  Compare that to most blackjack games where the house advantage is generally under 1% for players who use basic strategy.

Ignore Your Fellow Players

The playing decisions of other players on the table you are playing with have no impact in the long run on your winning chances. Blackjack is not a team sport.1)Well, I guess blackjack could be a team sport but that is a topic for another time.  Of course there is another way to improve your odds at blackjack.  It is called card counting and involves keeping track of the cards as they are dealt and using simple math to calculate your bet and to make strategy adjustments. The best card counters can hope for in this game is a long run advantage of about 1%. Keep using the basic playing strategy regardless of how the other players play their hand, the amount you bet, and whether you won or lost the previous sessions.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Well, I guess blackjack could be a team sport but that is a topic for another time.  Of course there is another way to improve your odds at blackjack.  It is called card counting and involves keeping track of the cards as they are dealt and using simple math to calculate your bet and to make strategy adjustments. The best card counters can hope for in this game is a long run advantage of about 1%.

The Best Poker Books of All Time

Man Reading a Poker Book on BenchBy Giovanna Freire 

Just about every online poker site running today boasts a section of guides designed to help beginners and experienced players improve their card-playing skills. Most of these guides are incredibly useful, covering everything from poker hand values to when you should and shouldn’t bluff. 

But with all the goodwill in the world, these online poker sites can only go so far in helping players develop their poker-playing skills. Watching other players compete through TV programs, live tournaments on social media, and poker channels on streaming sites like Twitch can be a great resource to help players learn from others. Even then, there’s only so much you can learn from watching others play. 

For those that want to go much further and examine individual elements of the game, like the psychology of poker or individual strategies, the only option is to read some poker books.   Thankfully, many legendary poker players and learned academics have penned hundreds of pages of in-depth analysis about just about every area of poker. Here are some of the best.

Winning Low Limit Holdem by Lee JonesWinning Low Limit Hold’em

Released in 1994, Winning Low Limit Hold’em by Lee Jones is one of the most straightforward books on poker that has ever been written. This simplicity doesn’t mean it lacks details or isn’t that useful. It’s just that Jones has done a fantastic job of breaking down all of the elements of the game into easy-to-understand chunks.

Winning Low Limit Hold’em is an excellent book for beginners who want to brush up on tactics they can use when playing free online poker with friends or taking part in free-rolls and other tournaments.  It’s also great for more seasoned players that want to give themselves a refresher and maybe even pick up a thing or two. 

Hold'em Poker For Advanced PlayersHold’em Poker for Advanced Players

Whereas Lee Jones’ book focused on the more basic poker elements, Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players sits at the opposite end of the spectrum.  One of the many books written by Mason Malmuth and first published in 1988, this book breaks down several different scenarios to help the reader better understand what strategies are best to deploy in those situations. 

Malmuth’s book is even credited with coining various poker terms, including the semi-bluff, where you don’t have a high-value hand but could get your opponent to fold. 

The Theory of Poker by David SklanskyThe Theory of Poker

David Sklansky has written more books about poker than almost any other author. His 1994 title, The Theory of Poker, looks at broad concepts that can be applied to just about every variant of the game, rather than focusing on Texas hold’em as most other books are. 

The opening chapters look at the object of poker, mathematical expectations, your hourly rate, and the fundamentals of poker theory. From here, Sklansky builds on these foundations with chapters that examine each element of the game in detail, including antes, pot odds, deception, implied odds, and defending against Malmuth’s semi-bluff. There’s even a whole chapter on applying game theory in poker and how you can use it to create the optimum bluffing strategy.  In 2019, Sklansky revised this book to include no-limit, as the first book only had limit poker in mind.

Super System by Doyle BrunsonSuper System

Doyle Brunson is a legendary name in poker.  His classic book Super System was probably one of the best selling poker books of all time and probably influenced the big increase in interest in the game.  He managed to get some of the leading experts in the field to write chapters in the book, including David Sklansky, Mike Caro, Chip Reese, Bobby Baldwin and of course Doyle Brunson himself. 

Chapters included every major no-limit game played at the time: seven-card stud, seven-card low stud (razz), and hold’em. At the time, this book was considered by many professionals as one of the best books on poker ever written.

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