Knowing the rules of Blackjack plays a big advantage.


Blackjack Rules

A word or two about blackjack strategy - Blackjack is not one of the most popular casino games for no particular reason. Most gamblers know and appreciate the fact that it is one of the games with the lowest house edge.

 

 

The typical house edge on a blackjack game is 2-3% which is great even when compared to roulette, let alone games like bingo or keno, where the house edge can get as high as 60%. Good old BJ takes it easy on players. Instead of trying to rake in a huge sum on a single bet, casinos and online casinos aim to make players play as many hands/hour as possible. Whenever you play Blackjack, be aware of this: the faster the game is, the more you’re bound to lose.

One way to reduce the losses is to apply basic strategy. Proper basic strategy will cut the house edge to about 1%, although it seems to work better in some casinos than in others. I suppose it all depends on the dealers and on whether the casino has any automatic shuffling machines running or not. Some automatic shufflers (the RNGs used by online casinos are such devices as well) offer players a marginal advantage when they do apply basic strategy.

Blackjack basic strategy is nowhere as complicated as poker strategy. Don’t feel intimidated, all you have to do is learn a few charts which tell you the actions you need to undertake in relation to the cards that you get and the dealer’s exposed card. There are separate charts for soft hands and hard ones.

The real edge in blackjack can be gained through card-counting though. That way, players can even overturn the 1% house edge and make it work in their favor. Basic card-counting is a fairly simple affair. It doesn’t take a genius to pull it off, but mind you, even though there is no law forbidding players to use their minds for obtaining an advantage in a casino, the casino itself will adopt a very unilateral attitude towards card-counters and will eject them from the table as soon as suspicion arises.

The simplest way to count cards in Blackjack is the following: assign values to different cards: from 2 to 6 +1, from 7-9 0, and from 10-A, -1.

Whenever you see a card leave the deck, add or subtract one (or don’t do anything if it’s a 0 value one), this way, all you’ll have to keep in mind is a sum. The bigger the sum is, the bolder you should be with your bets, because that means there are more high-cards left in the deck then low ones – a fact which is in the player’s advantage.

Really efficient card-counting techniques employ more intricate variations of the system, presented. If the house uses several decks, things become much more complicated, but the cards will still remain countable.

You cannot count cards in an online casino, because you have no idea how many decks the system uses, and how it shuffles them. Even if it’s only one deck we’re dealing with, the RNG has the ability to reshuffle it after each played hand, as it only takes it a fraction of a second.

When playing online, try to gain the upper hand through a combination of basic strategy and a clever exploitation of comp offers. There are no offers such as rakeback in online blackjack, but there are comp points that can be earned through real money wagers and which can indeed provide a real edge for players.

Comp points can be used for this purpose in live casinos too, although earning them is much more laborious offline than online.

Whatever you do, try to generate some sort of positive mathematical expectation on your bets when gambling, otherwise, the negative EV will eat your bankroll up over the long-run, regardless of how lucky you may get.


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Last Updated 8 January 2017
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Blackjack Rules