Blackjack is a game thought to be played in multiple ways, but at the same time, that diversity this game offers attracts gamblers who can enjoy its counting mathematics. Notwithstanding the fact that in a game like this if you do not bet, you will not feel that you win, it is necessary, for the sake of winning, not only to understand its rules but also to understand its basic strategies.

Although many online casinos prefer to play with more than one deck, some of them offer the possibility to play single deck blackjack, offering many advantages which many may like to try.

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Like in most games of chance, Blackjack strategies never present players with one hundred percent guarantees of winning. In essence, utilizing mathematical probabilities is simply a way to minimize the innate house edge and make decisions based on the cards that you and the dealer have as well as those that are still left in the game.

Therefore, in spite of numerous guides that claim to possess the infallible secret, much like fanatical religious/spiritual leaders, you can easily understand why a foolproof methodology has not yet been developed. Joke aside, let’s first clarify the basic concepts of Blackjack.

Quick walkthrough of the rules   

First of all, I have seen numerous guides to the game that suggest the objective of the player consists primarily of accumulating a sum of cards closest to 21, without going over this value. However, the real goal implies accumulating a sum of cards that is higher than the one of the dealer but that does not exceed 21. At first glance, the two statements are largely similar, but in fact there is a world of difference between them.

In the first case, the player should continue hitting (asking for more cards) until he is satisfied with the difference between the sum of his cards and the maximum value of 21, without taking into account the hand of the dealer. This erroneous strategy would substantially increase the house edge. On the other hand, if you remember that you don’t really need to aim for accumulating 21 points, but rather just over the value that the dealer holds, you stand to gain a lot more. The value of the cards in the game of blackjack is as following:

  • 2 to 10 cards have the value imprinted on them
  • The value of all face cards is 10 points
  • The value of the Ace is either 11 (if the sum of the cards does not exceed 21) or 1 (if the sum of the cards exceeds 21)

The bettor will only see one of the cards of the dealer and, after being dealt the first 2 cards he will be able to:

  • Stay, meaning that he will not request any more cards
  • Hit, meaning he will request an additional card
  • Split, meaning the current hand is split into two individual hands when the cards dealt are the same (two Aces, two 8s, two 5s, etc.)
  • Double down, the value of the bet is doubled and the player will only receive one more card

It is necessary to point out that some casinos enable the player to “surrender”, canceling the bet if he does not like the hand that he has been dealt. However, you should inquire on whether or not your current table utilizes this rule.

What is the house edge in Blackjack?

The house edge really depends on the number of decks that are in the game. Assuming that you are only playing with a singular deck, than the house edge is then calculated at 0.17 percent. The house edge increases with each additional deck brought into play, as following:

  • 2 decks, 0.46%
  • 4 decks, 0.60%
  • 6 decks, 0.64%
  • 8 decks, 0.66%

In order to understand why the house gains an edge over the bettor that is directly proportional to the number of decks in play, you need to understand that the game of Blackjack is based on dependant events. To put it simply, it becomes much more difficult to estimate the number of cards that are still in the game and to calculate the odds of the remaining cards accurately, which means that card counting no longer provides you with the same advantage. For example, when you are playing with a single deck, you know that once all the Aces are out, the probability that either you or the deal draws one is 0.

An example of strategy

As mentioned previously, there is no strategy that will function optimally every time, but rather decision making systems that have a mathematically higher chance of winning. For the purpose of understanding that better, we have compiled a list of such decisions in the following table:

Player’s Hard Hands  Dealer’s Hand
2 – 67 – Ace
4 – 8HitHit
9Double DownHit
10 – 11Double DownDouble Down
12 – 16StayHit
17 – 21StayStay
Player’s Soft HandsDealer’s Hand
13 – 15HitHit
16 – 18Double DownHit
19 – 21StayStay
Player’s Split HandDealer’s Hand
2-2, 3-3, 6-6, 7-7, 9-9SplitDon’t split
8-8, Ace-AceSplitSplit
4-4, 5-5, 10-10Don’t SplitDon’t Split

Byline

This guest post is written by Andrea, a passionate student of the theory behind casino games and writer at blackjackdomain.com.

The poker game once used to be an important feature of brick and mortar casinos that existed only in a few parts of the world, but with the advent of the internet, online poker rooms have become a reality with virtual access from all across the globe. Online poker has increased the popularity of poker games mainly due to the fact that novices are more comfortable playing at online venues rather than traditional casinos, which are quite nerve-racking for new players. As a beginner,  here are a few things you need to know about online poker:

Not All Online Venues are Worthy of Your Investment

Do not question the authenticity of online poker games based on the deceptive activities of those average online poker sites. It’s a given fact that the internet is a host to both good and bad. Just like any other market, you’ll find a few ordinary brands trying to adulterate the entire system.  There’s a big difference between a quality poker site and a mediocre one. No matter how lucrative the offers look, always opt for a site that has a more realistic appeal and has a wide user base.

Online Poker is Not a Scam

There are pros and cons associated with all types of systems, so if you have been hearing those stories on the internet regarding how someone got cheated while playing poker at an online venue, you have probably heard the voice of someone who has suffered a bad beat. It’s true that online games run on software, but that system is handled by a third-party agent and there is no question of manipulating the final results.  As a rule of thumb, the more the chances you take, the more is the probability of dealing with bad beats. 

Many Online Poker Players are Inexperienced

Most of the people who play online poker are not experienced. The top players do play online, but their number is marginal. This cream layer of players who like to play it big in the live casinos are actually the ones who started their journey online. If you lose a few hands in the beginning, you don’t have to be disheartened, as only practice will make you perfect with time. Just think about the number of inexperienced players you can beat!

Online Poker is Legal in Some US States

After the Black Friday in 2011 when a hearing was made against the top three online poker companies with charges of money laundering practices, the future of online poker in the US looked grim.  However, a step towards legalization backed up by the politicians is estimated to make the game even stronger with the US entering the grounds. The states of New York, New Jersey, and Nevada have already made it legal to play online poker, with many other states to follow the trend.

You Can Play Online Poker without Fear

All crimes committed online are either executed by the site owner or the operating team behind it. You, as a player, cannot be put on trial for playing poker on a site that is involved in fraudulent practices. So, if you had any doubt in mind regarding your safety when playing poker online, flush it off and take your chances!

These 3 Tricks Will Help You Make Solid Bets In Online Poker!

If you are looking to multiply your bankroll to twice or thrice the amount when making bets in a poker game, you need to perfectly understand how to use poker probability and to gear yourself up with stellar betting strategies that allow you to shift the odds in order to place a solid bet. Basically, you should know when to push everything in and when to fold. Here are 3 proven tricks that will help you last longer in an online poker game:

Value bets

Most of the beginners make mistakes in inferring that the ultimate goal of a poker game is to get the best hand in play. However, this is not the case, since you can only avail long term profit by placing value bets. Value betting is designed to increase the value of the pot and a continuous stake with this type of betting can give you safe profits over the long run.

Even though you receive pocket aces that present strong chances of you winning, there’s no real guarantee of standing tall after the play. Playing with strong cards with a practical approach will still give you a considerable win, without actually making much noise. You need to trick your opponents into going against your trump cards and force them to push their limits. This is something that will come with practice and once you get your calculations right, you can rake in some serious money.

Size of the bet

Online poker is not only about knowing when to bet, but also what amount needs to be put at stake to make the most out of it. There’s no point in taking the extra risk of staking the full pot when you know that your opponent can fold to a smaller bet. You may take some chances in an odd event, but do not make it a habit.

Try to play with the opponent’s mind by tracking their moves and trapping them with the right proportion of value bets. Say, for instance, if there’s the same reward for two different bets, you would want to make a value bet of a higher stake that your opponent is likely to call. The idea is to avoid sticking to a single strategy for every hand you play. Adjusting the size of your bets as per the need can really shoot up your winnings!

Deception

Exceptional poker players have one thing in common; they know how to genuinely deceive their opponents in order to force them to make a mistake. In spite of having less favorable cards, trick your opponents into believing that you are value betting. Since it’s playing poker online and your opponents cannot see your body language, it’s all about exhibiting that speed while betting on your hand and showing confidence while doing. Bluff with high stakes only when you estimate there’s a game-changer on board.

When you are into the final three of a poker game, blind-stealing is another deceptive technique you can employ to raise your chip stack without taking too many risks. With you in the dealer position alongside two other blinds, you can do a small raise to which the blinds will fold in case they don’t have playable cards. This will add some bonus cash to your pot with ease!