Blackjack strategies

Blackjack strategies: How to exploit your advantage?

Blackjack is undoubtedly one of the most popular casino card games that attracts players’ attention not only because of its entertaining gameplay, but also because it offers the smallest casino advantage. This means that every player has a good probability of winning at this game. But have you ever thought about the fact that you can increase your chances of winning even more by learning more about the game of blackjack? This is exactly what many blackjack strategies describe, which you can learn about below.

You have probably heard of card counting in blackjack. It is still considered one of the most effective tactics today. However, there are several blackjack strategies and betting systems, and each player can improve their blackjack experience by finding the best option for themselves.

In this article, we will focus exclusively on blackjack techniques that you can use to improve your chances of winning. Before you try to apply the different techniques, you should first familiarize yourself with the blackjack game rules. Remember that each technique comes with a different level of risk. Always consider your abilities and play only with money you can afford to lose.

Basic Blackjack Strategies

The basic blackjack techniques, also known as traditional blackjack strategies, are based on certain actions during a game. Regardless of how much money you bet or how many times you have won or lost, these methods focus on the cards you have and the dealer’s face up card.

With an 11, you should always double down

In blackjack, doubling down means that you make a second bet of the same amount and receive an additional card. Yes, at 11 points you may get a low card and end up with 15-17 points, which is not ideal. However, doubling up by 11 points gives you more chances to win in the long run than not doubling up.

It is important to know that regardless of the dealer’s card, you should always double down when you have 11 points. This is one of the most basic blackjack strategies with high long-term winning odds.

Always split eights and aces

If you have two eights or two aces in your hand, you should always separate these cards. While there might be a debate about the usefulness of other cards in the long term, eights and aces must simply be separated. Two eights means that you have 16 points, which certainly does not guarantee a win. On the other hand, if you split these cards, you can score a maximum of 18-19 points, which will significantly increase your chances of winning. The same applies to aces as well. If you do not split the two aces, you are just giving away chances. Two aces means you have two points or twelve points, neither of which guarantees victory, and you will have to draw another card in any case. Splitting aces opens up the possibility of two blackjack combinations.

Never split 5s or 10s

If you have two fives or two tens in your hand, never split these cards and play with your current hand. Sometimes players do not realize that they need to consider the same cards they have and not split immediately. Two fives equals 10 points, which is a good starting position – if you take an extra card, you can get into a very lucky situation.

It’s even better if you have two tens. You immediately have 20 points, which practically guarantees a win – in the worst case you drop to 21 or draw. In the long run, two tens win more often than if they are split. So to accomplish your move, do not mix two tens with two aces, the aces must be divided and the tens must be kept.

Surrender with 16 points against the dealer’s 9, 10 or ace

You can also include 15 points against the dealer’s open 10 card in this strategy. The two worst Blackjack hands are when you have 15 and 16 points. Taking an extra card is extremely dangerous, and winning with the whole point value is only achievable in extremely unlikely circumstances. Always stand when you have 16 points and the dealer’s face-up card is a 9, 10 or an ace.

Although the surrender action in blackjack is often criticized, it can help preserve a part of the money amount in certain situations, and in the long run, it can even lead to savings. This means that even if the surrender action is taken, another profitable strategy is used. In the long run, playing with 16 points against 9, 10, or an ace will result in more losses than wins.

Never split a pair of 9s when the dealer has a 7

Splitting a pair of nines is popular among players because it allows them to turn 18 points into two hands with 19 or 20, increasing their chances of winning. However, if the dealer’s open card is a 7, you should never split a pair of nines. Your potential 18 points are worth more than the dealer’s potential 17 points with an open ten card. Remember that in blackjack, it is not always necessary to aim for 21. The goal of the game is to outwin the dealer. In this case, standing with 18 points gives you a better long-term chance of winning than splitting the cards.

Never place an insurance bet

Since there are not many different bets in blackjack, it is easy to remember them all. There is an additional betting insurance if the dealer has turned up an ace. Players are often tempted to place an insurance bet, which pays out a  2:1 win . However, this bet is not recommended because the possibility of the dealer getting a blackjack is not worth a payout.

Players are often led by their emotions and tempted to place insurance bets. However, in the long run, the dealer’s chances of getting a blackjack are less than the 2:1 payout ratio, so it is wiser in the long run not to place an insurance bet and just keep playing. You will lose occasionally, but no less often than if you continue playing with your existing cards.

Don’t play blackjack versions where the payout is less than 3:2

In blackjack, achieving a blackjack combination usually results in a 3:2 payout. This means that if you bet €10, you will receive €25 (€10 bet plus the €15 win). However, you can increasingly find online blackjack variations where a blackjack combination pays out at 6:5. In such cases, a €10 bet will result in a €12 win rather than a €15 win. This immediately increases the casino’s advantage by 1.45% in single-deck versions and by 2% in two or three-deck versions.

Advanced Blackjack Techniques

Once we’ve figured out the fundamental blackjack strategies, we can turn our attention to slightly more complex strategies, such as various betting systems. Don’t be mistaken – experienced players use basic strategies as well, it’s the foundation of blackjack gameplay. Meanwhile, more advanced strategies are not used by every player because they are more difficult to implement and require more skills.

Counting Cards

Card counting in blackjack is one of those strategies that has inspired numerous legends, myths, and stories. This strategy was previously very popular when the number of decks used in blackjack was accurately specified. Card counting has become much more complicated as the number of decks in blackjack variants has increased.

If we’re talking about full card counting, this strategy isn’t for everyone. To keep track of cards in the game, you must have a good memory, the right environment, and complete concentration. However, there is a simpler method of card counting, but not as effective as full counting, that can still help with certain decisions.

Ace tracking is part of the card counting strategy, but you are only responsible for tracking aces. This means you won’t have to remember every card in the game, instead, you’ll just have to react to the aces that appear. As you are aware, there are four aces in a single deck of cards. If you are playing blackjack with 4-6 decks, that means there are 16-24 aces in play. If a significant number of aces appear at the beginning of the game, the probability of their appearance later decreases immediately, and this information can assist in making specific actions or evaluating the assumed risk in the game.


Martingale Betting Method:

The “Martingale” is a common betting technique frequently used in roulette. One reason for this is the wide range of bets available in roulette, all of which are well – suited for the “Martingale” technique. However, blackjack isn’t a bad option for this betting technique either, and you can certainly find players who have refined this approach in blackjack games.

The core concept of the “Martingale” strategy involves doubling your bet after a loss. For instance, if you wagered €10 and lost, you would then bet €20 in the next round. If you lose again, you would increase the bet to €40. If the bet succeeds this time, you would return to the initial amount and bet €10 once more.

The “Martingale” is an aggressive strategy that requires a significant cash balance. A sequence of unsuccessful bets could result in significant sums – starting with €10, after five consecutive losses, you would have to wager €320. Because of this, you should always assess your financial situation before using this strategy or start with a lower initial amount.

1-3-2-6 Betting System:

This is a special betting system designed to maximize profit during a winning streak. The strategy comprises four bets of differing sizes. Before implementing the system, you must decide on the one unit bet size. For instance, if a unit is worth €5, the appropriate sequence of bets would be: €5, €15, €10, and €30.

The strategy commences with a €5 bet and progresses to the second step, after a successful initial bet. Then wager €15 on the second bet. If this bet also wins, you move to the third step, placing a €10 bet. With success in the third bet, you proceed to the final step, where you stake six units – in this case it’s €30. Whatever the outcome of the previous bet, the next bet will be from step one again. If the second or third stage bet fails, you return to the beginning, placing the original one unit size amount again.

d’Alembert Betting Method:

This is another betting system that can also be found in roulette strategies. The system, named after the famous mathematician, is identified by its similarity to one of the most popular strategies, ,,Martingale”, but is a much safer option. Two bets in a row will never be the same in the d’Alembert system – after a winning bet, the next one must be reduced, and after a loss, it must be increased.

Before implementing the system, establish an initial amount and the unit size. After a successful bet, the next wager decreases by one unit, while after a losing bet, it increments by one unit. For example, starting with €50 and a unit of €10, after the first lost bet, next bet would be €60. Another loss would raise the bet to €70. If you win this time, one unit is subtracted, bringing the bet back to €60.

When using the d’Alembert strategy, as with any other betting system, it’s recommended to set win and loss limits. Set a specific amount for taking a break after a win, or a specific amount to stop if the day is unprofitable. Avoid chasing losses because it increases the probability of further losses.

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