The Main Differences Between Blackjack and Poker

As we have often said, Blackjack is a very popular online and table game, with many people enjoying this game across the globe.

People often consider Poker the more popular or cooler game, due to the influence of movies, media and well advertised Poker Tournaments with celebrity players.

But Blackjack and Poker often get confused in the mainstream media and in the public eye, so here we discuss the differences between these two games.

There may not seem like there are any obvious differences but there are.

So while you are trying to up skill yourself in the excellent art of Blackjack why not practice on one of the betting sites Australia has to offer, and really get all the knowledge you could need to make a profit.

Blackjack vs. Poker

Players or House

When playing Poker you are up against your fellow players at the table, so if one or more of those players have better skills than you – odds are you will lose.

With Blackjack you are only playing against the house (the dealer/casino) so what the other players at the table do has little to no effect on your playing or the possibility of you winning.

Tracking

When playing Poker, basically the only way to see if you are winning is to check the amount of chips you have (top tip – if you have no chips left it means you are doing badly).

Meanwhile, with Blackjack you can actually count cards as there is a set system to track those cards at each step.

This system means that you can track your progress from the first round you are in and make decisions on whether you need to up-skill more or actually are making a profit while playing.

Casinos

People playing Poker seem to have easier access to Casinos in general as they are competing with each other at a table and not the house.

Whereas Blackjack players are competing against the house and the house doesn’t like players who win too much or became to skilled at Blackjack.

They are not willing to take a continuous loss, so Blackjack players often have to find new casinos to play at in order to increase their skills.

Luck vs. Skill

One of the general views of both Blackjack players and Poker players is that one game relies on luck while the other game relies on skill.

Poker players can be highly skilled at their game but quite often the game will depend on the luck of the draw and be entirely out of your control to change the outcome of the game and the hand your dealt.

While players at a Blackjack table very often rely on skill they have gained to ensure a profitable outcome from each hand they are dealt.

It is also very easy to sit yourself down at a blackjack table and start playing, and this is great as you will soon start learning from your mistakes and apply those new found skills to the game.

If you need to know how to play the game of Blackjack, why not check out our easy guides will get you started in no time.

A Quick Guide To Casino And Blackjack Table Etiquette

Table Etiquette

So you have found Blackjack, well done! Gambling has a long and interesting history going back thousands of years, but Blackjack as a table game is always growing in popularity and is super fun to play when at a Casino and have time to spend.

Our article will show you how to behave when playing Blackjack, and some of the rules apply even if you are not going to an actual land based casino, and having a go online at Blackjack.

Because learning the general etiquette of how to act at a blackjack table, whether it is a CAD casino or a USD casino is important and necessary.

So even if you have been in a casino or have learnt the actual rules of the game, here are the guides on how to behave and act like a pro:

The basics:

  • Wait for the current hand to finish, do not interrupt a game in process to try change currency
  • Never hand your money to the dealer, the cameras need to see the transaction occur so place your money on the table for the dealer to count and then supply you with chips.
  • When you place a bet, remove your hands from the chips in the betting box and leave the chips alone
  • Do not use both hands to hold your cards, this is generally to prevent players tampering with their cards
  • Also never walk away from the table with your cards, do not even place them in your lap –keep them in view of casino cameras at all times
  • If your game is dealt with the cards face up – there is no need to touch them- so don’t.
  • Use hand signals to show your decision in games with multiple decks , scratch the table for a hit, place your cards under your chops to stand and leave the cards face up if you are bust.
  • Do not talk to the dealer unless you ask for advice on the hand – but this can be dependant on the Casino
  • Learn how to cut the deck correctly, insert he cut card as close to the middle of the deck as you can

  • A tip is to avoid the final seat on the left, as the dealer plays right after this player, and your mistakes will be picked up by fellow players quickly and used against you
  • Always place the larger denomination chip on the bottom of a stack of chips and the lower denominations on top
  • You can ask for your spot to be marked by the dealer if you need a bathroom or cigarette break
  • Tip the dealer – please tip the dealers they are doing a minimum wage job, throw them some tips
  • Never tell your fellow players how to play! If asked you can give your opinion but never start lecturing people on what they should or shouldn’t do

This list may seem long and daunting but most of it is actually pretty basic information but things that could possibly over looked when you are new to casinos or Blackjack.

Noteworthy Blackjack Movies

Blackjack has played such an influential role on popular culture that it should be no surprise that there are many films that touch on or deal with Blackjack.

It is a near impossible task to compile a comprehensive list of Blackjack film highlights so let’s look at a few personal favourites of ours. These are all must see films for any Blackjack fan.

21

With an all star cast that features Kevin Spacey, Lawrence Fishburne and Kate Bosworth, 21 is an intriguing film.

Its story is based loosely on a true story of a group of MIT students that make use of mathematical formulas to improve their blackjack playing.

They eventually test their skills out in real casinos that are not too happy about it when they find out. It’s a shame they didn’t know about the best betting app in Australia where you can have much more fun.

Croupier

Starting off as a tale of a writer trying to find his feet, this film quickly switches to a noir styled direction as the lead character played by Clive Owen attempts to make sense of the world around him as he starts dealing at a blackjack table to make ends meet.

While this film has an average score of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, it was not a massive hit at the box office, but it did help make Clive Owen an almost household name in America.

Swingers

Swingers is one of those classic cult films that just manages to make all the right moves. Not only is Swingers well written and paced, it features some exciting Blackjack action.

This film helped launch the careers of Vince Vaughan, Jon Faverau and Heather Graham. It not only won critical approval but also an MTV movie award for best film.

The Cooler

Just like Swingers, The Cooler is a relatively small film that packs a punch. It stars William H Macy who is the cooler referred to in the title, and rather than referring to a strong Blackjack hand that gets beaten by an even stronger hand, it refers to Macy’s ability to “Cool” the luck of other players.

He works for a casino boss who through a series of events decided to start making our character’s live a bit harder. Also featuring Alec Baldwin, The Cooler is a sleeper hit well worth a watch.

Licence To Kill

While not strictly a gambling film, the 16th James Bond film starring Timothy Dalton does features some fantastic Blackjack.

There is a scene where Timothy Dalton wins $250 000 in a match and takes it in stride, just as cool as you would expect Bond to be.

Soon after the release of Licensed to Kill, legal problems arose over licensing and it would be another 6 years before a new bond film would see the light of day, by which time Timothy Dalton had unfortunately moved on.

Honourable Mentions

Rain Man and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest both deserve a mention even though they aren’t focused on Blackjack.

In these two films we see Blackjack bring strangers together in a way that conversation alone simply cannot. Let’s hope the world keeps remembering that unique power of Blackjack.

4 Blackjack Strategies That Are Best Avoided

4 Blackjack Strategies That Are Best Avoided

Blackjack is one of the most popular games offered in both land-based and online casinos and as such ‘fool-proof’ strategies are a dime a dozen.

However, it’s important to remember that while most strategies will offer some success in the short-term, in the long-run most will end up being entirely unsuccessful.

In fact, the only blackjack strategy that works is to use the best play mathematically based on each card, in comparison to the dealer’s up card. Anything else is just a waste of time, and ultimately a waste of money.

Mimic the Dealer

Using the ‘Mimic the Dealer’ strategy will see you draw on any total of 16 or below and stand on any total of 18 or more (and hard 17).

The idea behind this strategy is that mimicking the dealer is clever seeing as the casino has an edge, so the dealer must be playing in a way to maintain the casino’s edge, right? Wrong!

The casino’s house edge is largely created by the player being forced to act before the dealer so that when player’s bust they lose no matter what the dealer’s hand is.

Negative Progression

Using a negative progression strategy, of which the Martingale is the most famous, will see you change your bet after a loss.

Many negative progression variations exists, but all of them see you chasing your losses by trying to eventually secure a small win which may in fact wipe out your entire bankroll.

Some negative progression betting systems state that you should increase your bets by half of your last bet, or one and a half, or even more of your previous bet – you can quickly see how this can spiral out of control to the point where the online NZ casino table doesn’t allow such big bets!

Positive Progression

A positive progression betting system will see you changing your bets after each win, as opposed to a loss with a negative progression strategy, and the idea behind this strategy is to take advantage of a good streak while reducing the risk of taking a big loss.

Using a positive progression may give you the illusion of cashing in on a winning streak, but it is in fact no better than flat betting in the long run.

Unfortunately, no matter what the ‘experts’ say, you cannot overcome the house edge by changing the size of your bets as each bet is independent of any others.

Always Take Insurance

Taking insurance is the complete opposite of using good strategy, as you should never take insurance even if you have an incredible hand.

Even though the casino has done an excellent job of making insurance seem like a good idea, it is simply a side bet on whether the dealer down card is a 10, a face card, or not.

You will be paid out 2-to-1 on this second bet when the dealer’s down card is worth 10, and you lose your 2nd bet and play out your original hand if the dealer’s down card isn’t worth 10.

The problem with this is: the insurance bet pays out 2-to-1 but the odds of winning are not 2-to-1, so you are increasing the house edge by taking insurance.

In conclusion, the only strategy that works is the mathematical best play when comparing your hand to that of the dealer’s up card.

If you’ve come across a blackjack strategy that we have not covered here, do plenty of research before putting it to use in your next game.

Can You Count Cards Online?

Can You Count Cards Online?

Counting cards is basically the act of predicting which cards the dealer will deal, by knowing what is left in the pack.

For example, you know that there have been two aces dealt, so, therefore, there must be two still coming up.

To be fair, that is a very basic example as many blackjack games are played using multiple packs, which is exactly why counting cards is usually done by those who have a touch of maths genius to them.

Brick and Mortar Versus Online

So what is the difference between counting cards in a brick and mortar casino and counting them online you may ask? In a brick and mortar casino, the cards are shuffled by a human dealer, which not only leaves room for error but also means that fewer cards may be shuffled, as they are physically present.

In an online casino, the cards are shuffled after each turn, using a random number generator, or RNG, much like is used in the pokies NZ has to offer, along with the rest of the world.

This means that the cards are in an eternal state of being shuffled, which makes it much harder to predict. Also, as the cards are not physical and being shuffled essentially by a computer program, there is no space for human error.

So How Do You Win Then?

Well, that’s a bit tricky to answer. If there were a fool proof way of winning at online blackjack, many people in the world would happily sit on their couches or at their computers and simply rake in thousands of dollars without having to go to work.

The secret to making online blackjack profitable lies in the bonuses offered by the various casinos. Many online casinos will give away a starting bonus whereby you are able to play your first few games for free.

This means that you get to make pure profit should you win, without having to invest any of your own money.

Of course, there are always terms and conditions that apply, so be sure to read the fine print carefully.

Live Blackjack

The other option is to look into a live blackjack game. Although played online, so you are able to take part from your living room, these games do involve real players and dealers.

Live games are broadcast from real brick and mortar casinos, with real live dealers and work in the same way as taking part in a table game at the actual casino.

You will need to be pretty good at the game, however, so be sure to practice long and hard at the normal version of online blackjack before you even attempt a live game.

Counting cards in a live game works in the same way as it would at a table game. The dealer shuffles the cards as they are physically present, and usually only after each game. Many online games use a shoe as well, instead of an automatic shuffler.

This has two effects. The first is that it is easier to predict than online cards that are in a constant state of shuffle, and the second is that the penetration into the deck is not very deep.

All of this adds up to your skill being the deciding factor. If you are a maths genius, you may get somewhere. Otherwise, it may just be a pretty fruitless exercise.

Count Cards Online - Blackjack Guide

What Makes Blackjack So Popular?

What Makes Blackjack So Popular?

Anyone who has ever even dipped their toes into the world of online gaming knows about the game blackjack.

Blackjack is one of those card games which leaped into the limelight and firmly stayed there.

Today one can find it in almost any online and brick and mortar casino. Blackjack is so popular in fact, that it is often played recreationally by people of all ages at their homes or other gathering places purely as a form of entertainment.

What has this card game so interesting for people for so many years though?

Low House Edge

The house edge in a casino is what determines how big your chances are of walking away with some cash. The higher the house edge, the lower your chances, and this is why games like VISA Roulette are also popular as their house edge doesn’t go over6%.

When played correctly blackjack has an incredibly low house edge, round about one percent. This means that if you are good enough at the game and you play either online or at a brick and mortar casino, your chances of lining your pockets are actually pretty good.

This draw keeps players coming back again and again. After all, there is nothing worse than playing a game where you know you have no hope of winning, is there?

Not Just Luck

Blackjack may not be as skillful a game as poker, but it is definitely not just up to chance. Your decisions have a huge impact on how the game unfolds, so making the right one is crucial.

Slot machines and other games such as bingo are purely chance, you have no control over them at all.

Knowing that your skill could dictate the game, and therefore allow you to beat other players is another draw point which keeps skilled players coming back again and again.

Live Gaming

There is something about sitting at a blackjack table, dressed nicely, with other players eyeing you out al hoping to win.

The dealer deals, you make the right choices, and win the hand. Slowly a crowd starts to grow and people begin to watch you play and win.

This is an intoxicating feeling and another aspect which keeps players returning to the blackjack table over and over.

The thrill of the win, the excitement in the air of the live game, and the admiring looks from passers-by who wish they were in your shoes.

Blackjack Popular

How Long Has It Been Popular For?

Blackjack is an old game, probably hundreds of years old. It began in the 1700’s in France, or so people think; the actual beginnings of the game are a bit shrouded in mystery, which of course adds to its popularity.

What we do know is that around the turn of the century in the 1700’s a new and exciting card game broke onto the scene at French gambling houses.

These gambling houses were the playgrounds of the rich, wildly opulent and filled with cognac swilling, cigarette smoking people in beautiful clothes.

From there it spread to Europe like wildfire, taking precedence in gaming houses all over the continent.

When the New World was discovered, it hopped ship across the sea and became, along with poker, the main card game played in American casinos all over the vast land.

Blackjack has always been popular and looks set to be one of the go-to card games in casinos for many years to come.

Blackjack on the Big Screen

Blackjack on the Big Screen

Blackjack is endlessly fascinating, so it’s no real surprise that it has featured in so many blockbuster films over the years.

Some of the movies feature important revelations made against the background of a Blackjack game, and some make it one of the major themes running through the storyline.

With the fascination that the whole world seems to have with Blackjack growing stronger all the time, there will no doubt be many more movies featuring the game of 21.

These movies are a selection of the best examples of Blackjack in film right now.

21

Loosely based on Ben Mezrich’s book Bringing Down the House, and the real-life escapades of a Blackjack team made up of MIT students.

The youngsters were mentored by Professor Micky Rosa, played by Kevin Spacey, who taught them to card count and use team tactics to win at Blackjack.

For a time they were wildly successful, but the law eventually caught up with them.

The movie 21 is an in-depth look at how the strategy of card counting works and how it can successfully be applied with dual teams.

The MIT students were divided into a team of spotters and a team of big players. The spotters would play minimum bets while counting the decks at the Blackjack tables in their targeted casino, and then signal to the big players when the count would be favourably taken advantage of.

The story is fascinating, and expertly told with fine acting.

Croupier

Croupier is a darkly psychological film that uses Blackjack as a vehicle for sadism; Clive Owen plays a detached card dealer named Jack, who takes pleasure in watching punters lose.

A lot of the technical ins and outs of land-based Blackjack games are shown too, such as casino regulations and the skills that a croupier needs to have.

The Gambler

The Gambler shows the dark side of Blackjack in all its gory glory, and may make some people want to stick to mobile pokies for the rest of their gambling careers!

The game of Blackjack is portrayed almost as a villain, which together with Roulette is the monkey on the back of protagonist Jim Bennet, played by Mark Wahlberg.

The 2014 remake of the 1976 film follows Bennet as he spirals out of control, asking his mother to help him cover his debts and then enlisting some of the students in a class that he teaches.

The climax of the film is when Bennet gets his students to help him with a point-shaving and betting scam, pays off his debts and then risks everything on a single Roulette wheel to settle the rest of what he owes.

Rain Man

Once again, Blackjack is used to make some very important points in this classic and beautifully-acted film. Dustin Hoffman plays an autistic man whose brother, played by Tom Cruise, only learns about him when their father dies.

Through a course of complicated events, Cruise’s character ends up kidnapping his brother, but when he finds out he is $80,000 in debt the brotherly bonding session is over.

Until, that is, the genius-level mathematical splinter skills of Hoffman’s character are discovered and the pair heads to Vegas to (successfully!) count cards.

The Hangover

Blackjack on the Big Screen

To end off on a light-hearted note, consider The Hangover, a movie about how just how debaucherous a bachelor’s party can be.

When everyone wakes up to mayhem in their Las Vegas hotel suite the morning after, they have to face more than a physical hangover; it seems a friend is missing and they think he is being held hostage by a gangster.

Card-counting skills are once again called in to save the day, as the pals scramble to raise the ransom money.

Are Real World And Online Blackjack Really One And The Same?

Real World Versus Online Blackjack

We live in a world where technology is evolving at an astonishing rate. Movies can be watched online, banking can be done on a portable electronic device, and entire casinos are available to play online, for real money.

People from just a decade or two ago would be astonished at the technology we have today, which suggests that in another decade or two, the same will be true. It’s an amazing time to be alive.

But more specifically, online casinos are currently in a state of growth. And not just an ordinary state of growth, but one that seems to be happening at an absolutely astonishing speed.

More and more people are signing up to try online casinos daily, and trends seem to suggest that it won’t be long before online casinos are as popular as real world casinos.

The question is, however; just how similar are online casino games to their real world counterparts? Can real world blackjack, and online blackjack, really be considered one and the same?

Blackjack dealer land based casino

Online Versus Real World Blackjack Rules

Like the slots NZ has to offer, Blackjack is a straightforward game, with relatively easy to understand rules. Get your cards as close as possible to 21, and hope that the dealer doesn’t get closer. There is much more strategy then that involved, of course, but this is the core of the concept.

And, in case there was ever any doubt, yes, online blackjack follows exactly the same rules as blackjack played in real world casino. An enormous amount of effort has been put into online versions of games, and the rules have been followed to the smallest details.

What can be noted, however, is that there are often many variations of blackjack available at online casinos, more so than is generally found in real world casinos. Real world casinos have limited space, which means that there can only be so many tables dedicated to blackjack in any given venue.

In online casinos, space is obviously not so much a problem. This means that online players can try out many variations of blackjack, with different rules, and likely never have to leave a single online location. As far as convenience and freedom of choice go, online casinos are a winner.

A Matter Of Ambiance

Another notable difference between online and real world casinos is that online casinos simply do not have the ambiance of real world casinos.

Many visitors to real world casinos will say that they love the ambiance, with is generally electric with excitement and tension. It is often a contagious environment, and part of what makes real world casinos so appealing.

This, however, is a double-edged sword. Sometimes when a person is serious about their blackjack, what they don’t want is distractions, and there certainly isn’t any escaping the potentially distracting ambiance of a real world casino.

Play at home, however, and you can be sure of a distraction free environment, if this is what you are looking for. So in this case, it really is a matter of preference. A

As far as rules are concerned, however, online and real world blackjack are more or less identical, depending on the chosen rule set.

Blackjack Pops in Pop Culture

How Blackjack Pops Up in Pop Culture

Next to Slots, Blackjack is the most widely-played casino game in the world. If you’ve ever visited a casino, whether land-based or online, the card game also known as 21 usually occupies a prime position.

And if you are a fan of movies, music, books, and 101 other expressions of popular culture, you’ve probably spotted that Blackjack’s star roles are not limited to collections of casino games.

Let’s take a look at just some of the appearances the game has made, as well as things it has inspired.

Lights, Camera, Action

Arguably the Blackjack movie to end all of them, 21 is a 2008 film based on the true life story of the card-counting MIT Blackjack team.

Filled with plot twists and turns, it follows the team from the maths department to Vegas.

The 1988 box office smash Rain Main, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom ‘the sofa-jumper’ Cruise, features one of Hollywood’s most glorious Blackjack moments.

The autistic main character has a photographic memory and genius math skills, and puts them to use while counting cards during games.

Between the Covers

A thrilling take on shady underworld figures with a penchant for Blackjack is the James Swain novel Sucker Bet. A central part of the plot is the winning of 80 consecutive hands by a cheating player.

The striking image of an Ace of Spades no doubt provided some inspiration for the appearance of Osamu Tezuka’s manga character Black Jack. Introduced in November 1973, the character enjoyed a weekly print run for 10 years.

Main character Kuro suffered a childhood accident that turned half of his hair white, and left him in need of a facial skin graft. His half-African best friend donated the needed skin, and Kuro’s appearance was changed forever.

We don’t know what the result would have been, had Tezuka decided to call his character mobile slots Canada or something similar.

Feel the Blackjack Beat

References to Blackjack have even crept into the world of music. For starters, a temperament known as miracle temperament was discovered by George Secor in 1974.

The temperament’s evenly-distributed scale of 21 notes is known as the Blackjack scale. New York-based Joseph Pehrson is just one of the composers to have made use of the scale.

Big-voiced balladeer Michael Bolton performed under his real name (Michael Bolotin, in case you were wondering), along with Bruce Kulick, Jimmy Haslip, and Sandy Gennaro in a rock band called Blackjack from 1979-1980.

Believe it or not, the band release two albums and even went on a small US tour during its mercifully short career. Rappers Jay Z and Kanye West obviously don’t mind the music, as both have sampled or re-recorded and sampled Blackjack songs.

Another possible pop culture reference to the popular card game is in the name of now-defunct Aussie band Black Jack. Active in the 1980s and 1990s, the band played classic and heavy metal.

Where to Next

As more and more players discover the timeless thrills of Blackjack, it is bound to enjoy many more appearances in popular culture.

After all, some of those players just may be the next Oscar-winning film director or a best-selling author.

Martingale System And Blackjack

What is the Martingale System in Blackjack?

Blackjack is one of the most popular table casino games in the world. Using a simple, graspable system, yet remaining an extremely difficult game to master, it is one of few casino games that are both simple, yet deeply advanced.

It is also one of very few casino games were a truly skilled player can win consistently, to such an extent that a living could be made off of playing a casino game.

The Martingale betting system is a simple, yet logical betting system that can be applied to casino games. There are a number of betting systems that can be used, often extremely complicated and difficult to apply correctly.

The Martingale system, however, is as simple as a betting system can get, yet often gives incredibly good results. In the game of roulette the Martingale system can be used along with a simple strategy, granting curiously consistent results, given how simple the system itself is.

But can the Martingale system be used when playing online blackjack in Canada or anywhere else for that matter, and still give acceptable results? Let’s take a closer look.

How Martingale Works

The Martingale system is negative progression, which simply means that a player ups their bet upon losing, in an effort to recoup the losses, while still making a profit. To put it more simply, the player may start with 1 unit of bet currency. If a lose is suffered, the bet is raised to 2 units. This will cover the lost, and make profit, assuming the round is a win. If it is a lost, the next bet will be 4 units, and so on. It’s a simple system that is easy to understand, and easy to apply to a game.

The problem with the system is that a losing streak can quickly but the betting amount astronomically high. If winning, the system grants a slow, but steady stream of small winnings.

If losing more than about 5 times in a row, however, the player is quickly having to bet huge amounts in an effort to cover losses. In other words, the system can quickly collapse in the face of a losing streak.

Combined With Blackjack

Using the Martingale system with blackjack is as simple as one would assume. The bet need only be doubled after a loss, and reduced back down to 1 after a win.

On the surface, the system works reasonably well, and can be adequate for some time. But, once again, will fall apart if enough losses in a row are incurred. For this reason many professional gamblers suggest not using the Martingale system.

For beginner players, however, the Martingale system is a great teacher on how more advanced betting systems work.

Using the Martingale system, even for a short while, will help a learning player get into a mindset of how betting systems can function, and so for this reason is a good starting point.

It need simply be kept in mind that only low stakes tables should be tackled with this betting system, lest the situation get out of control fast.

Other betting strategies are also available online, for free.