The Most Comprehensive Blackjack FAQ Ever

Blackjack is certainly one of the most popular card games in the world and many find the allure of this game absolutely irresistible. Simpler than poker in many aspects, many new players believe the aim of blackjack is to reach the elusive 21, but they would be sorely mistaken.

The object of blackjack is to beat the dealer’s total without exceeding 21 – known as ‘going bust’. While many blackjack guides offer game play advice and tips on strategy, this FAQ is designed to answer the questions you didn’t even know you had.

Why Do Dealers Toss the First Card?

The tossing or ‘burning’ of the first card in blackjack games is a move put in place to prove to the player that nothing dodgy has taken place while the dealer shuffled the cards.

The first card in the deck is also the most vulnerable to cheating schemes should the dealer be in collusion with a player at the table, so the burning of the first card in the deck lessens the probability of this happening.

Any Advantage to Playing Multiple Seats?

There is indeed an advantage to playing multiple seats at a blackjack table, as you will decrease your variance in doing so.

However, having said this, this assumes that you split the bet you would’ve placed on one hand across two, instead of doubling the bet you would place on a single hand.

You will risk the same amount by splitting the bet across two hands and you will also increase your playtime, thus increasing your chance of success.

Full Table vs. Alone with the Dealer?

Blackjack is about as social as sports betting NZ, but it’s always best to be alone at the table with the dealer if you’re an accomplished card counter, however we doubt you would be reading this guide if you were!

As such, if you’re a basic strategy player or just getting started, your best bet is to play at a table full of players.

The reasoning behind this is that you will be dealt fewer hands per hour, thus reducing the exposure of your bankroll to the house edge, increasing game play and the chance of success.

Is Online Blackjack Better than Live?

This answer to this question is not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, unfortunately.

Online blackjack will always be better than live with regards to the ease of access, the range of stakes available to choose from and online casino bonuses, but this advantage could quickly be diminished if the rules of the table aren’t the same as live blackjack games.

Some online variations only pay even money for blackjack and don’t permit players to double down on soft hands, so be sure to check the rules before placing your bets online.

How Do Multiple Decks Influence the House Edge?

This is quite possibly the most important aspect of game play to remember: the house edge in blackjack decreases as the number of decks decreases.

Take a moment to let that sink in and then allow me to explain –  you will get more blackjacks with fewer decks and doubling down also becomes more advantageous.

You will get more blackjacks in a single-deck game as the removal of just one card affects the percentages of the remaining cards more greatly than a six-deck game.

Casino Industry Secrets to Blackjack Success

By now, just about everyone has heard of the MIT blackjack team who took casinos for millions of dollars, but if you think they were only successful because they were intelligent, you would be wrong.

Bill Kaplan trained his students like soldiers – intense training and meticulous tracking of their progress and they turned $89,000 into a whole lot more.

However, the good news is that you don’t have to be able to count cards in order to be successful at blackjack, because we have the blackjack secrets the casinos don’t want you to know.

Hit, Split, Double Down, Stand

  • Always hit on soft 17 (ace-6)
  • Always split aces and 8s
  • Always double down on 11
  • Always stand on a hard 17 or greater
  • Never split 5s or 10s
  • Never stand on 12-16 if the deal’s up card is a 7 or higher
  • Never believe you’re on a winning streak

Beware the Gambler’s Fallacy

Just as you should always remember that there is no such thing as a hot or cold table – whether online or land based – just so should you take heed of the gambler’s fallacy.

The gambler’s fallacy is the belief that losing a few times in a row makes you ‘due’ for a win and this type of thinking must be avoided at all costs as many a gambler has lost their own bankroll this way.

Don’t Worry About the Shuffle

Unless you’re a veritable card counting expert, don’t worry about the shuffle of the decks. An automatic shuffle machine may make tracking specific cards or decks theoretically impossible, but a handheld shuffle is almost never perfectly random, so don’t even give it a second thought. At least this is something you don’t have to worry about with Bitcoin betting.

Five Decks Are Enough

You should always go for blackjack games which use 5 or fewer decks of cards during gameplay, as games using 6- or 8-decks are slightly more disadvantageous to the player.

It may only be a 10th of a percentage difference, but you’ll be surprised how much of a difference this can make over time.

Join the Table Anywhere

If there’s one thing gamblers have in common, it’s their tendency towards superstition and we have some news for you: it doesn’t matter where you sit at the table.

Your chosen seat at the table will not have any direct influence on whether you win or lose, so just take a seat, relax, and get your head in the game.

Never Take Insurance

We cannot stress this enough: insurance has always been and will always be a loser’s bet.

Sure you may make some extra cash every once in a while by taking insurance, but most of the time you’ll be giving your cash up for essentially no reason.

Unless you’ve been keeping track of how many aces and 10s are still left to the play in the shoe, insurance should always be turned down.

Progressive Strategy Doesn’t Work

As much as other would have you believe, the truth is that progressive betting will not increase your chances of blackjack success.

Unfortunately progressive betting cannot affect your probability of winning in blackjack and will most likely only force you to spend more money than you likely would have if you didn’t make use of a progressive betting ‘strategy’.

In Conclusion

Our final pieces of advice are to always keep your emotions in check, never chase losses, practise intelligent bankroll management, and memorise a basic blackjack strategy chart before taking a seat at the table. Good luck!

Myths, Mistakes, and Misconceptions about Blackjack

Most people have a general understanding of how blackjack works, but it’s easy to believe common myths about game play if you haven’t fully learned it.

As such, here are common mistakes, myths, and misconceptions surrounding the game of blackjack which you should cast from your mind immediately.

Getting Close to 21 is the Goal

The misconception that the aim of blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible is the most common of all and leads to many players chasing the elusive 21 and ignoring what’s really going on at the table.

You should always check the dealer’s upcard, remember that the dealer has to stand at either a hard or soft 17 depending on the table’s rules, and look out for favourable opportunities to split your hand.

Blackjack Strategy is Difficult to Master

While blackjack strategy may seem intimidating at first, there is no need for you to learn all the blackjack strategies off by heart.

Start by printing out a strategy chart which can be consulted until you’re more comfortable with the ins-and-outs of the game.

All you’ll have to do then is follow the action provided for each possible combination of the dealer’s upcard and your total.

Due for a Win after Successive Losses

The idea of being ‘due’ for a win after consecutive losses is a common mistake amongst gamblers in general and is known as the ‘Gambler’s Fallacy’.

Just like with horseracing where a loss on one race should guarantee a win in the next owing to the law of averages, this should also be kept in mind when considering horse racing tips NZ.

This is why many blackjack players start to increase their bet sizes after a few losses as they follow the logic of ‘the more you bet the more you will win’.

Unfortunately, every hand is a completely separate event from the last and you can’t bank on winning after a few too many successive losses.

Other Players Influence Your Chances of Winning

The goal of blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand, but many players seem to think that their fellow table mates are somehow going to hurt their chances of achieving this.

Remember every player at the table is playing against the dealer, not you!

Even if your table mate makes a bad decision, this does not influence your hand and you should think of it as if you’re playing alone at the table.

The Consistently Low House Edge

It’s often stated that blackjack has a house edge of just 0.5% which makes it very appealing to players, but more often than not this is simply not the case.

The rules of the game are dependent on the table – one game may offer 3:2 payouts for blackjack and force the dealer to stand on soft 17, while another may offer 6:5 blackjack payouts and allows the dealer to stand on soft 17.

Insurance is a Worthy Investment

Insurance is an addition bet as to whether the dealer will have blackjack when their upcard shows an ace.

If the dealer does have blackjack and you’ve taken insurance, you will be paid 2:1. It may sound appealing to the uninitiated, but the problem with insurance is that only 16 of the 52 cards in the deck will give the dealer blackjack – a chance of 30.77% – leaving you losing the other 69.23% of the time.

The Benefits of Playing Online Blackjack

While playing blackjack at a land based casino is a far more sociable experience, there are many advantages to playing online blackjack instead.

With a greater variety of blackjack games from low stakes to high, fantastic casino bonuses, and superior pay outs, playing online blackjack is a no brainer! Here are the detailed benefits of playing online blackjack.

Wide Range of Deposit and Withdrawal Options

One of the greatest advantages to playing online blackjack is that online casinos offer a wide range of options for deposits and withdrawals and there is something to suit everybody.

Whether you want to deposit with your credit card or web wallet, you can do so with ease and confidence knowing your transactions are secured by 128-bit SSL encryption software.

Perfect for Beginners

I can assure you, if you pitch up at a land based casino and ask the dealer to explain the game to you while others sit around and wait impatiently for you to get the gist, there are going to be a lot of frustrated people.

Rather play blackjack at an online casino where there is far less intensity and pressure than a live game and there are plenty of practise play options to enjoy while you’re learning.

Ease of Access

Playing blackjack at a land based casino requires paying for fuel to drive to the casino, paying for parking, and inevitably paying for snacks and refreshments while you play. This is just wasteful!

Rather put all that extra cash into your online casino account and play wherever, whenever. As long as you have a device such a smartphone, laptop, computer, or tablet connected to the internet you can play online blackjack and real money pokies to your heart’s content.

Live Dealers

Once you feel confident in your playing ability, you can always head to the live dealer portion of the casino and recreate the land based casino in your living room!

Thanks to high quality video streaming, you will be presented with a gorgeous dealer who chats to players while dealing and you can even ask them questions via the chat option.

Lower House Edge and Better Payouts

Thanks to the fact that online casinos are a dime a dozen and the competition is fierce, they are forced to offer superior payout rates and lower house edges than land based casinos in order to entice players to play with them.

Online casinos also have far less overhead expenses than land based casinos, so they can afford to give more back to the player.

Financial Rewards

Ah, sign up bonuses! What a wonderful way to rewarded for doing almost nothing! All you have to do to receive your online casino sign up bonus is create an account, deposit the advertised minimum, and reap the rewards!

Not only do online casino players get sign up bonuses, but regular promotions and loyalty rewards will keep you coming back for more online blackjack.

Utmost Privacy

Online casinos are perfect for those wanting to protect their privacy as no one will know you’re playing unless you tell them!

Enjoy your favourite games in the comfort of your own home without having to worry about running into anyone you know and if you’ve got a fairly public profile, online casinos provide you with the anonymity you require.

Happy playing!

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.

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.