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.

Card Counting Explained – Know the Facts and How to Win

Regardless of who you may be, if you’re paying a visit to your local casino then your main goal is to try and win as much money as you possibly can, which ultimately requires getting an edge over the house.

This is exactly why casino put a lot of effort into stopping the players at their casinos from cheating and trying to gain an upper hand.

Whether it is a loaded die or a complex signalling strategy, cunning players will do anything to win more money.

Card Counting in Blackjack

Card counting is primarily used when playing Blackjack, and in spite of what you may think, it actually isn’t illegal, nor is it considered cheating.

So, if you’re willing to give it a go, fear not because you won’t end up ‘sleeping with the fishes’, despite what many movies will have you believe.

Know the Facts and How to Win - Card Counting Explained

We tend to believe a lot of the thing depicted in films, which is probably why most people think it requires a pure genius to do, and probably also why I’ve had a sneaking suspicion the world’s casino industry is responsible for movies like Rain Man, 21 and even the Hangover.

Count Cards & Then Your Money

Jokes aside, card counting is a lot easier than you think and it basically requires a decent understanding of Blackjack as well as knowing how to add and subtract.

This ultimately means that whether you only find yourself at the Blackjack table from time to time or even if you spend most of your time enjoying the many great online slots Canada has to offer, you have just as much chance counting cards and winning big money as anyone else with a high-school diploma.

The best thing to do is practice your Blackjack skills and implement strategies to get a deeper understanding of the game and how to keep track without having to memorise every card drawn.

The Art Of Counting Cards

If you know Blackjack, you know that the 10s, the picture cards and the Aces are useful to players, while the lower cards (2-6) will be useful to the dealer because they have to stick with anything over 17 and hit with anything less.

The remaining cards, 7, 8, and 9 are considered neutral, as they don’t always benefit the dealer or the player.

This essentially means that there is always an even number of desirable and undesirable cards in play, which is where the card counting starts to come into play.

We know that every time a card is dealt the number of cards (or shoe) gets smaller, and that there are 20 desirable cards, 20 undesirable cards and 12 neutral cards.

So, when trying to become a card counting connoisseur your task is to subtract or add cards from the deck with simple maths, whereby you’ll assign +1 to undesirable cards, -1 to desirable cards and 0 to the neutral cards.

The trick thereafter is to take note of whether you are in minus figures then you know you are at a slight advantage and you can place your bets accordingly. It isn’t fool proof in terms of winning, but it certainly increases your chances.

Fantastic Variety of Online Blackjack Variations

Each online blackjack variation will vary in terms of rules and the odds of winning, but no matter which variation you choose, we can guarantee that you’re going to have fun.

The amount of decks will vary and you may come across games that use up to 8 decks, which increases the level of difficulty substantially.

Take a look at some of the most popular online blackjack variations below.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

  • Played with four 52-card decks
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Dealer will ‘peek’ for blackjack
  • Players may double down on any initial hand
  • Players may double down after splitting
  • Players may split up to 4 hands
  • Aces may only be split once
  • Only 1 card can be taken to split aces
  • 21 on split aces does not constitute blackjack
  • Players may split unlike 10-value cards such as K and Q

Blackjack Surrender

  • Great option for beginners
  • Rules are identical to regular blackjack, except that players are allowed to surrender
  • House edge is lower owing to the option to surrender
  • Only half of the initial bet is lost if a player decides to surrender
  • Dealer is required to hit on soft 17
  • Dealer will ‘peek’ for blackjack
  • Initial 2 card hand can be split if both cards are of the same value
  • Players may double down after splitting
  • Player has the option to take insurance if the dealer shows an ace

Progressive Blackjack

  • Players bet as usual, but there is also a progressive jackpot up for grabs
  • Rules are the same as classic blackjack
  • Particularly popular among online blackjack Canada players
  • Players must post an additional side bet in order to qualify for the progressive jackpot
  • Surrender is not an option
  • Players can win the progressive jackpot by having 4 suited aces
  • If the progressive jackpot is not won, there is still the chance to win smaller pay outs as such: 3 suited aces pays 5000:1, 4 aces of any suit pays 2500:1, 3 aces of any suit pays 250:1, 2 suited aces pays 100:1, 2 aces of any suit pays 25:1

Blackjack Switch

  • Rules of classic blackjack apply
  • Players are dealt 2 hands of 2 cards each
  • Once players have studied the first 2 cards of each hand, players are able to switch the cards between hands if they so choose – hence the name
  • Whether the 2 cards are switched or not, the player continues to play both hands separately, choosing to hit, stand, split, or double down
  • The player can win or lose both or only one hand

Double Exposure Blackjack

  • Both of the dealer’s cards are dealt face up which benefits the player
  • House edge is greater than standard blackjack which favours the house
  • Dealer wins on all ties, unless it’s a natural blackjack
  • Player blackjack pays even money
  • Player can only split a hand once

Spanish Blackjack

  • Played with either 6 or 8 standard 52-card deck with 4 tens removed to make a 48-card deck
  • Player hand worth 21 always wins, irrespective of what the dealer holds
  • Players may double down on any initial 2-card hand
  • Players may hit and double down after splitting any card values, even aces
  • Players may surrender after doubling, forfeiting the original bet but keeping the double down bet
  • If a player wins with a 5-card 21, the pay-out is 3-to-2
  • If a player wins with a 6-card 21, the pay-out is 2-to-1
  • If a player wins with a 7 or more card 21, the pay-out is 3-to-1

Have fun with these variations and remember to only use reputable online casinos!

7 Tips for Success with Blackjack for Beginners

7 Blackjack Tips for Success When You’re Just Starting Out

Ready for some blackjack tips? Even beginners to the game of blackjack know about card counting, and while some argue that it’s a piece of cake, the idea of card counting is beyond the purview of the average player.

However, blackjack offers good odds and it possible to achieve blackjack success without counting cards – as long as you follow a few basic rules and strategies.

We consulted a few experts for advice for rookie players.

1. Basic Blackjack Playing Strategy

Remembering the right way to hit, stand, double down, or split your hand is absolutely imperative, and if you stick to these basic rules you’ll cut the house edge down from 1-2% to 0.5%!

  • Stand when you hold between 12-16 and the dealer shows between 2-6
  • Hit when you hold between 12-16 and the dealer shows between 7-ace
  • Always split aces and 8s
  • Double down on 11 when the dealer shows between 2-10
  • Hit or double down on anything between ace-6

2. Don’t Take Up Insurance

Unless you are a skilled card counter, taking up insurance is a complete waste of money. When taking up insurance you are essentially making a 2nd bet with extra money with regards to whether the dealer has blackjack.

On average, the house has an almost 6% advantage over the play when it comes to insurance bets and even if you do have blackjack you will only win your original bet.

If the dealer has blackjack as well, it’s a push.

Blackjack tips for Beginners - online casino

3. Check the Dealer’s Up Card

This is one of the most important blackjack tips. Before you make any decision regarding whether to hit, stand, double down, or split your hand, take a careful look at what the dealer is holding.

It’s good news for you if he’s showing anything between 2-6 but bad news for you if he’s showing anything between 7-ace.

The dealer’s up card should always influence your next move. Remember, you will make mistakes when you’re getting started, but that’s why taking advantage of Canadian casino bonuses is so important – they can cushion the blow in the beginning.

4. Choose Your Seat Wisely

When you’re just getting started you’re going to need some extra time to review the dealer’s up card and your own hand before making a decision, so make sure to not take the first base seat.

Avoiding this seat will buy you some extra time while the dealer moves through the other players. This is one of the blackjack tips often overlooked.

blackjack tips for beginners - 7 tips when playing blackjack at an online casino

5. Start Small

When you’re new to blackjack it is advised that you start off slowly and ease your way into the game.

Don’t go in firing on all 4 cylinders if you’ve never played a hand before, as you will most likely come up short unfortunately.

Slow down, enjoy the experience, and every move will become far more calculated.

6. Don’t Believe the Gambler’s Myths

No matter what you’ve read, it isn’t possible for another player at the table to influence the way your hand goes.

Even though there are other players at the table, you are playing alone against the dealer, and the other players don’t know what you have and vice versa.

7. Know When to Stop

Many casino surveys over the years have documented how as many as 75% of players will be winning at some point, but only 4% come out with more than they went in with.

Having said that – decide on an amount that you’re willing to lose in a single session and stick to it. If you’re up in numbers at any point, that’s when it’s a good time to stop.

Hopefully you enjoyed these blackjack tips, and if you did, don’t forget to share this with others!

More About Real World and Online Gambling In Canada

Gambling In Canada

Some are not aware, but gambling is 100% legal in Canada. So much attention is given to the famed Las Vegas, but hardly any mention made of the many gambling facilities up north of the United States. And, not only is gambling legal, but there are over 100 excellent casinos to explore, making the region a veritable gambling paradise.

Classic table games are the focus of many of these casinos, including the expected blackjack, roulette and poker. But slot games and other electronic based gambling activities not forgotten, with slot games and video poker also available. Read more “More About Real World and Online Gambling In Canada”

20 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Gambling

The gambling industry is a multi-billion dollar market which spans the globe. The gambling landscape of today is made up of thousands of operators, from palatial, extravagant land-based casinos to the best online mobile casinos that can be accessed via smartphone, and just about everything in between.

But how much do we really know about this industry?

Here are 20 fun and interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about gambling:

  1. Gambling can trace its roots back to the dawn of civilization, with the earliest evidence of gambling dating back to Ancient China in 2300BC.
  2. Keno was invented in China between 205 and 187BC. The Great Wall of China which spans over 21,196 kilometres and was constructed over a period of 2000 years, was largely financed from funds derived from keno.
  3. Ever wondered why roulette is also known as the Devil’s Game? If you add up all the numbers from 1 to 36 on the roulette wheel, you’ll get a sum of 666. This three-digit number is known as the Number of the Beast and is commonly associated with Satan.
  4. There 2,598,960 unique possible poker 5-card hands with a 52-card deck.
  5. The odds of getting a Royal Flush in poker is 1 in 649,740.
  6. Blackjack was first called “vingt-et-un”, which is the French word for 21.
  7. Former U.S. president, Richard Nixon funded his 1946 congressional election campaign with money he had won as a sailor playing poker during World War 2.
  8. The president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe is the only modern Head of State to have won a lottery. He won a private lottery in 2000, worth 100,000 Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD), which was valued around US$2,600 at the time.
  9. The first country to have passed legislation to allow licensing for online casinos was Antigua, which launched the first online casino in 1996 and featured 18 online casino games.
  10. It is illegal for citizens of Monaco to gamble at the historic Monte Carlo Casino.

    20 gambling facts roulette table - guide4blackjack

  11. The first casino licence in Las Vegas was issued to a woman named Mayme Stocker in 1920.
  12. The title of biggest gambling city in the world belongs to Macau. It only takes the city one day to bet the same amount of money that it takes the gamblers of Vegas to bet in a week.
  13. Most major land-based casinos have a layout that resembles a maze. This is intentionally designed to get patrons lost so that they can continue gambling.
  14. Casinos rarely feature clocks and windows, so that gamblers lose track of time.
  15. The lighting in casinos is designed to resemble that of your living room, with the intention of making you feel comfortable and calm.
  16. John Montagu, also known as the 4th Earl of Sandwich is said to have invented the sandwich while playing cards. Frustrated by having to interrupt his game by being served food which required him to use both hands, he ordered his meals to be served between two slices of bread instead.
  17. 68% of all visitors to Las Vegas spend their time and money playing slots.
  18. The largest progressive jackpot won on a slot machine happened in March 2003 and was worth US$39,713,982.25.
  19. The first slot machine was invented in San Francisco by a mechanic named Charles Fey in 1895.
  20. FedEx creator, Fred Smith saved his struggling company by gambling in Las Vegas. In 1973 he won US$27,000 in blackjack, using the company’s last US$5,000- enough to keep his business afloat in its infancy.

If you’re looking to improve your blackjack game make sure you check out our awesome blackjack strategies, or view our detailed blackjack guides for a more in-depth approach to improving your game.