What is Blackjack Strategy? Although there is no foolproof way to ensure yourself a win, using a well-practiced strategy can massively increase your chances of winning in a game. This can be done. Blackjack should need no introduction. It is the most popular table game in the United States, and is easily found in casinos throughout the world. The object of the game of Blackjack is simply to get more points than the dealer without going over 21. Rules Hand Signals Wizard’s Simple Strategy Basic Strategy Blackjack FAQ. Blackjack Basic Strategy 6 Deck; Shared Flashcard Set. Blackjack Basic Strategy 6 Deck.
Blackjack Perfect Strategy
Blackjack is a timeless game that remains popular with punters from all over the world. Learning basic blackjack strategy is a necessary step for everyone interested in the game and grasping crucial tips will enrich your ability to beat the house.
While the casino has about 5% advantage over unskilled players, having a basic blackjack strategy can reduce the house advantage to 0.5%.
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A blackjack game begins with a bet by the players against the house. The dealer deals two cards for the players and two for themselves. One card faces up, the other down. The values for cards 1 to 9 correspond to their face number.
The picture cards (king, queen, jack and 10) count for 10, while the ace has a value of 1 or 11 depending on the state of the game. Players have a decision to make – whether to hit, stand, split, double down, or surrender.
The dealer acts after the players. He stands on 17-21, or hits on 16 or less. If the dealer exceeds 21 (busts), the players win. If the hand totals of players are higher than that of the dealer but less than a bust, they win.
Know your aces. A hard hand has the ace valued at 1 or as nothing at all. For instance, a hand of 4, ace, 9 and 2 is a hard 15 as well as 9 + 6. A soft hand has an ace valued at 11. For example, ace, 3 and 4 is a soft 18, while 2, 3, ace and 3 is a soft 19.
Blackjack Basic Strategy
Applying the perfect blackjack strategy means making the right decision for the circumstances, rather than having hard and fast rules.
Blackjack Basic Strategy: Hitting & Standing
To hit is to request another card, while standing is to signal that you need no more cards. Players stand or hit on hands that total to 21 or less. However, beware not to bust by exceeding 21.
If you want to hit, signal the dealer by beckoning or tapping the table behind your cards in shoe games. In hand-held games, you signal a hit by scratching the edges of your cards lightly on the felt. To stand in shoe games, wave over the cards, and in hand-held games tuck the cards under your chips.
Blackjack Basic Strategy: Doubling Down Soft & Hard Hands
Doubling down means to double the amount of the initial wager to receive one drawcard in return. Commonly doubled hands include soft 13 through 18 (A-2 to A-7), and hard 8 to 11. Always check the doubling restriction of a particular casino.
Blackjack Betting Strategy: Splitting a Pair
When you draw two like cards you can make a split bet. Splitting a pair is necessary when a player wants to turn a losing hand into a winning one, lose less money, or win more cash.
The basic blackjack strategy on splitting depends on the playing rules and the number of decks of the game. With NDAS (No double after split), you split hands less than in the case of liberal DAS (Double after split). Check the strategy table for tactical splits.
Blackjack Strategy: Surrendering a Hand
The blackjack strategy of surrendering sounds rather unpleasant but is often a timely solution. If you notice minimal chances of winning after comparing your two-card hand with the up card of the dealer, surrender.
This means forfeiting your hand and losing half of your wager amount. Then, the dealer puts your two initial cards into the discard tray. This is better than losing a full wager. You can make an ‘early surrender’ or a ‘late surrender’.
The late blackjack surrender takes place after the dealer peeks at his hole card (the card facing down) and has a blackjack like the player. For example, in a single deck with hard 17 when the dealer’s up-card is 10, and you hold 16, surrender. It reduces the house edge by 0.07% for multiple decks.
With the early surrender, players give in their hand having seen the picture up-card and/or ace of the dealer before the dealer determines whether he has a blackjack. For example, surrendering hard 14 to 16 against a dealer of 10. Early surrender is the perfect blackjack strategy if you think you are at risk of losing it all.
Blackjack Betting Strategy: Insurance & ‘Even Money’
The insurance strategy is an extra, optional bet where a player anticipates that the hole card of the dealer is a picture/ten card. The wager on an insurance bet is equal to about half of the original wager. If your prediction is true, this bet wins at 2 to 1 odds. If the dealer has a card different to that which you bet on, you lose the insurance bet.
‘Even money’ is the cash equivalent to your wager that a dealer pays you when she shows an ace up-card while you have a blackjack. The dealer pays before checking her hole card to see whether it is a blackjack.
How to Count Cards in Blackjack?
Another crucial blackjack betting strategy is to count cards. It is important to know how to do that in blackjack so that you know when to increase your bets, slow down or stop. As a player, card counting helps you vary your bets to take advantage of the casino. To learn how to count cards in blackjack follow these simple steps:
- Assign a tag of -1 to the cards 10, J, Q, K, and A. Assign +1 to the cards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The cards 7, 8, and 9 take a tag of 0.
- After the shuffle, start counting every card pulled from the deck by adding its tag. Consistently count cards accurately to get the running count of each round.
- A positive running count means that the undealt cards are of large value, so you should increase your bets.
- If after any round the running count is negative, that means undealt cards are of small value, so you should decrease your bets.
You can learn how to count cards in blackjack using an interactive card counting trainer. This is a software that applies a mathematical technique to counting cards accurately. Always do some counting to mitigate the risk on your bet.
The Round Up
Gaming is fun when you apply the perfect blackjack strategy. To maximise your chances of winning on your wager, consider a blackjack betting strategy ideal for an isolated situation.
If you are a newbie, check for a strategy table on the website of your casino to guide you on the moves to make. Most importantly, and most reliably, whichever blackjack betting strategy you use don’t forget to count cards to assess your progress.
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Blackjack Terms, Jargon, and Slang
As a new player, you will often hear blackjack players using lots of blackjack terms and slang, so we've created this list of terms to be used as a blackjack glossary or blackjack dictionary. You can simply use this as a reference when you hear a term you are unfamiliar with or just read through the list and familiarize yourself with the blackjack terms.
Anchorman - the player in the last seat of the table, on the dealer's far right, who is last to act.
Barring a Player - a casino refusing to allow a player to play in a blackjack game.
Blackjack - an automatic winning hand containing both an Ace and a 10 value card.
Bust - having a hand totalling more than 21 points, an automatic loser.
Card Counter - a skilled player who keeps track of the cards as they are dealt.
Card Counting - the act of keeping track of the value of the cards dealt at a table.
Dealer - the casino employee, facing the players, who deals the cards at the table.
Deck - a standard deck of 52 cards used in blackjack.
Double Down - the option for a player to double his bet with only one card to come.
Draw a Card - drawing an extra card, on top of the original hand.
Early Surrender - player's option to surrender half his bet while the dealer checks for blackjack.
Favorable Deck - the cards left in the deck are in the player's favor.
First Baseman - the player in the first seat of the table, on the dealer's far left, who is first to act.
Flat Bet - to bet the same amount each hand, without variation.
Floorman - the casino supervisor who oversees the dealers.
Hand - the original cards dealt to each player.
Hard Total - any hand where there is no ace, or the ace counts as one.
Head-to-Head - playing the dealer one-on-one with no other players at the table.
High Roller - a player who bets large amounts of money.
Hit - drawing an extra card, on top of the original hand.
Hole Card - the dealer's unseen card.
House - another term for the casino.
Insurance - optional bet that can be made when the dealer is showing an ace.
Blackjack Strategy Double Down
Marker - an IOU, signed by a player who has casino credit.
Mucker - a cheater who adds favorable cards to a multiple deck game.
Multiple-Deck - a game consisting of more than one deck of cards in a shoe.
Natural - slang for a blackjack.
Nickels - slang for $5 casino chips.
Paint - any Jack, Queen, or King (all painted pictures).
Pat Hand - an original holding of hard 17 or higher.
Penetration - number of cards the dealer deals out before shuffling.
Pit Boss - casino supervisor who is in charge of the entire blackjack pit.
Push - a tie between the dealer and the player, no one wins or loses.
Quarters - slang for $25 chips.
Round - complete series of play in which everyone has acted on their hands.
Shoe - box containing decks of cards, made to deal one at a time.
Shuffle - mixing up the cards before dealing them.
Single-Deck - a game of blackjack in which only one deck of cards is used.
Snapper - slang for a blackjack.
Soft Total - any hand containing an ace which has a value of 11.
Splitting Pairs - option to split identically ranked cards to play as seperate hands.
Stand, Stand Pat - the player's decision to not take any more cards.
Stiff Card - a card ranked from 2 to 6, which may force the dealer to hit.
Stiff Hand - any hand totalling 12-16, which will bust on a 10-value card hit.
Surrender - option of a player to forfeit half his bet after the dealer checks for blackjack.
Ten-Poor Deck - a deck in which more 10-value cards have been dealt.
Ten-Rich Deck - a deck in which less 10-value cards have been dealt.
Ten-Value Card - any card worth 10 points, a 10, Jack, Queen, or King.
Blackjack Strategy Sheet
Third Baseman - the player in the last seat of the table, on the dealer's far right, who is last to act.
Blackjack Strategies Basic
Tip or Toke - a gratuity given to a dealer by a player.
Twenty-One - another name for the game of blackjack.
Blackjack Strategy Dealer Hits Soft 17
Unfavorable Deck - a deck with remaining cards favoring the casino, not the player.
Blackjack Strategy Dash
Unit - a standard bet size.
Blackjack Strategy Table
Upcard - the dealer's exposed card, seen by all players.