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What is a Blackjack Strategy?

James
July 13, 2020

In this blackjack guide, you will find key advice for developing an intelligent strategy that will help you towards the winning game at Betition. Many players believe that blackjack is a matter of luck, but without a proper strategy, how can they expect to play a winning hand? It is true that chance can win a game, but a good strategist knows there is more than this. A game of skill and intuition, as much as of chance, a sense of timing, precision and patience, a winning game of blackjack also needs a winning strategy.

What is a strategy in blackjack?

Strategy in blackjack comes first of all from a solid understanding of the rules. Any player should not go into the game without understanding how these apply. At Betition blackjack, knowing this will help you to take advantage of certain strategic situations. If for example, a player is not aware of the risk in doubling down on a hand, it is unlikely that they will know when to do it. It isn’t rare to see a player at the table ignore a double down on a hard eleven, but go in on a lower number.

Why use strategy?

Before jumping into a game at Betition, a basic understanding of how to play blackjack is essential. Simple things are often overlooked by new players. For example, always make sure to stay hydrated during the game. Like in any sport, drinking healthy fluids such as water will keep you fresh and improve your reactions. If you are hungry, thirsty or tired, your mental reactions will be slower: bad news for a winning game of blackjack. Although blackjack is not a physical game, it requires good mental focus.

How many strategies exist? Which one to use?

There are many strategies that exist in blackjack, some of them are more famous than others. The most basic strategy will come from experience: knowing when to hit for another card or when to play it safe and fold the hand. At Betition, you will notice that as you play more games, your familiarity with the timing involved in this will improve. To begin with, many players may not dream of hitting another card on a seventeen, but even a situation like this has a few exceptions.

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Basic blackjack strategy

The best blackjack strategy is not necessarily obvious. It might not involve a lengthy scheme, an insider’s knowledge of casinos, or a complex algorithm for counting cards. Quite often, the best blackjack strategy comes from knowing which hands are strong and which are weak. Splitting a pair of tens might be tempting, to aim for a pair of twenty-ones, but not always the best choice. Chance will always play a part. Instead of dividing a strong hand for two weak ones, for example, it is sometimes better to stay with the strong one.

Blackjack strategy charts

The odds in blackjack will always depend on at least two things: your own cards, and the dealer’s cards. If you are playing with other players here at Betition, the cards they have will also affect the chance you have of scoring the winning card. There are a number of blackjack strategy charts that can be found online. These advise when it is a good choice to hit, to stand, to double down, or to surrender, depending on which cards you have been dealt by the dealer.

Card counting

Many newcomers to Betition, and even some of the more experienced players, will probably have heard tips for counting cards. For many decades, movies have glamorised the casino experience. Although the casino world is a glamorous, exciting place, the sort of rare geniuses with perfect memories and amazing mathematical abilities are still extremely rare. Card-counting is not illegal in most places in the world, but it is frowned upon in almost all casinos. Being caught card-counting might not mean jail, but will probably mean a lengthy ban.

The surrender strategy

Knowing when a hand is worth playing and when it is not is also very important in playing a winning game. In games of blackjack that offer surrender, where the player can fold the hand and lose half the bet instead of the full amount, this knowledge is very important. Whether or not the hand is worth playing or should be surrendered is one of the first things the player should think when they receive their hand. Any blackjack trainer worth their salt will know this simple advice.

Early surrender strategy

An early surrender strategy can be effective. However, over time, if the player surrenders repeatedly, they are going to wear away their resources, so this strategy cannot be used all the time. Again, knowing when to take a risk on a hand that may seem average or even weak, is a skill that will be learned with practice. Some players choose to use a blackjack simulator, where the game can be played for free with no stakes, in order to improve their general experience with the game.

Late blackjack surrender

In a late surrender, the player waits for the dealer to check if they have received a natural blackjack before surrendering their hand. This is sometimes a useful strategy if the dealer holds an ace or a ten, and the player holds cards that are less advantageous to hit, such as a total of fifteen. Like in an early surrender, the player should evaluate whether the risk is worth the reward, or if it is better to sacrifice the hand. Again, free blackjack simulators are useful to practice this.

Pair splitting strategy

Knowing when to split a pair in blackjack is a difficult task, but one that can bring a great payoff if done successfully. The player can double their reward in splitting a pair, but the odds are different too. Many experienced players agree that splitting a pair of aces gives a better chance of scoring a twenty-one overall. The second ace is more useful on its own. Eights too can be split to avoid a difficult sixteen. In all, some pairs are always better to split than others.

Defensive blackjack strategy

A defensive blackjack strategy can involve a more careful approach. Only betting more on hands that promise a safer return, keeping a close eye on the dealer’s cards, folding or surrendering a hand when the cards that the player has been dealt are less advantageous, for example. Although it can be tempting to push ahead with large bets and secure some easy wins, sometimes the slower, more defensive strategy is more effective. This is because the player accumulates their winnings over time, and makes fewer large losses overall by playing carefully.

Offensive blackjack strategy

On the other hand, an offensive strategy can be highly effective in securing easy gains almost immediately. By betting high, the player can multiply their winnings in a shorter period of time. Of course, the risk involved in this means that many offensive strategies go both ways. The higher the bet, the bigger the potential loss. At Betition, the player should weigh up the strengths of an offensive strategy before committing to a play. If the dealer has an ace and the player has only total sixteen, this may be a bad time to play offensive.

Doubling down strategy

A good strategy for doubling down takes into consideration the fact that the player will be rewarded as much as they stand to lose. Doubling down is one of the most tempting moves for a new player to make when they feel they have a winning hand. But the player should remember that double down is the last move they can make in that hand. There is rarely a more painful moment than to watch a player double down a solid hand at the table, only to bust or be beaten by the dealer.

Single-deck blackjack

A single-deck blackjack game does not necessarily give the player better odds, even though there are fewer cards. In a single-deck game of blackjack, the game is played with only one deck of cards, instead of two or more. At one time, single-deck games were more popular than multi-deck, but gradually, most casinos have switched over. But the single-deck game is still an option. The rules of a single-deck game are still the same as in most other forms of blackjack, but the game may have different odds.

Double-deck blackjack

The most important thing to remember with double-deck blackjack is that the more decks are in play at a table, the better the advantage of the house. But players should not be discouraged. The basic rules in double-deck blackjack are generally the same as in single-deck blackjack and, to a large extent, they can be played in the same way. However, the player should remember that their odds are slightly different. With more cards available, the likelihood of the player receiving the card they desire has changed.

Hit & stand

Knowing when to hit and when to stand is the cornerstone of a winning game of blackjack. Once the player is over the first hurdle and the cards have been dealt, they must decide their next move. This is crucial. Most blackjack strategies relate to these two elements of the game in one form or another. There are difficult numbers, such as soft sixteen, where the player’s choice to hit or stand can be less clear. But there are also obvious cases, such as a hard twenty.

FAQ

It is important because it will give you an edge in the game.

There are many strategies to use, choosing the best comes from practice and experience.

To hit is to request another card. To stand is to finish requesting cards for this hand.

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