Whether you want to play Blackjack to earn extra income or just enjoy the thrill of trying to get to 21, knowing its key terms is vital. You’ll pick up the meaning of most of these phrases quickly when you play regularly, but a little research beforehand is always a good idea.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
Single Vs. Multi-Hand Blackjack Games
If you’ve just opened the virtual doors to the incredibly big and exciting world of online blackjack and you’re looking to find out what the difference is between single hand blackjack and multi-hand blackjack, then fear not because we’re about to face the 2 variants off to help you decide.
You will have noticed that aside from single deck blackjack games, you can try your luck at games with 2, 4, 6 or 8 decks, offering a far more intense and rewarding game of blackjack. Let’s take a look at the differences so that you can decide which suits you better.
Single Hand Blackjack: The Holy Grail
A large portion of long-time playing blackjack enthusiasts consider single hand blackjack to be the best in offering greater chances of upping your bankroll, with the house edge as low as 0.15%.
More recently, however, a rise in the number of people counting cards in order to gain higher profits has pushed casinos to shift towards multi-hand blackjack. It offers a more difficult gameplay and slightly increases the house edge.
Which Gives You Better Odds?
While many casinos still offer single deck blackjack, you should for a second be fooled into thinking it will give you better odds. Most casinos will offer you a payout of 6:5, whereas single hand games usually offer 3:2.
This essentially means you’re in for a bigger payout if you can face the challenge of a multi-hand blackjack game – and whether you are a fan of table games or Aristocrat pokies bigger payouts are always worth your while.
The Art of Card Counting
The many crafty card counters that walk among us have attempted implementing their strategies in multi-hand blackjack games and, in spite of it requiring far more calculations and even more risk of losing your count, they have proved successful.
Unfortunately, casinos have started to employ an arsenal of manoeuvres to interfere with counters, including a shuffle machine that shuffles cards with every hand.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Single Hand Blackjack
So to sum things up, the advantages of single hand blackjack include the low house edge that sits at 0.15%, along with the fact that card counters can easily implement their strategies when playing.
The disadvantages, on the other hand, include the fact that casinos have caught on to the card counters intentions, and have thus made it a lot harder for them with disadvantageous rules, which could very easily effect the house edge.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Multi-Hand Blackjack
Multi-hand blackjack has a number of advantages for those looking for a bit more thrill and higher payouts.
You can implement different blackjack strategies for each and every one of your hands and you can double down on each, so overall the possible rewards will be higher.
That said, card counters will have a tough time using their strategies with multi-hand blackjack games, and the house edge is of course lower than single-deck games. It really depends on the kind of player you are, or want to be.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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 for real money 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
- 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
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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!
A Primer in the Basics of Online Blackjack
There are countless casino games in the world, some of them played quite exclusively, and others played by millions every day.
Blackjack is one of those few games that sits somewhere in the middle – being enjoyed in bulk online by players all over the world, but also a unique table game that you’ll always find in a land-based casino.
While blackjack has always been a favourite in the casino world, it was its online evolution that truly made it skyrocket to the top, where it has remained to this day.
Learning blackjack is extremely easy as the rules are simple and the dealers keep you updated as the game progresses, but it is not quite the same with the online version of the game.
Computers handle everything that happens in front of the player, and for this reason is can be difficult to understand exactly how the online components work behind the scenes; and what exactly the computers are doing while you’re playing.
Playing blackjack 21 online is among the best card game of chance for anyone interested, but before you start, take some time to learn exactly what happens when you load up your favourite game of blackjack.
A Brief History of Online Blackjack
Blackjack as a whole is a game that spans hundreds of years, first finding popularity as a game of chance in European countries such as Spain and France.
As it grew across the world and found itself in North America, the game changed and evolved into the modern iteration that we are all familiar with today.
Online casinos that were first introduced in the late 1990s added digitized blackjack to their range of games, and it turned out to be a massive hit.
The computers that managed the game became more and more advanced, allowing for different versions.
How The Game Works Online
Blackjack is a simple game as its core. The goal for the player is to try and use their cards to try and score as high to 21 as possible, with the higher the score, the better the odds of winning the game.
As the game progresses, players have the chance to either hit or stand, meaning they can choose to take a new card, or stay with the ones they have.
This is where the inherent risk lies, because if a player takes a card that is too high a value, they can automatically lose the game and forfeit any potential winnings.
Online blackjack works the same, except for a live dealer, the computer uses a random number generator system, also known as RNG, to give players cards at completely random.
Every online game will make use of special rules, known as house rules, which are set by the casino offering the game.
These rules set the odds of the game including the house edge and the ultimate payout, as well as whether the player can use special moves such as doubling down.
Live Dealers Online
Another popular variant of online blackjack is those games that are played with a live dealer. These games are becoming increasingly popular, with brands like Evolution Gaming leading the way.
In live blackjack there is a human dealer on the other side who manages the game, and blackjack of this type is usually played by a number of different players.
It is much easier to implement strategies with live dealers, as human dealers cannot deal cards as randomly as computers can.
All in all, it is up to the player to decide the kind of blackjack that suits them most.
Why Blackjack is a Game of Strategy
The best way to play blackjack in order to optimise the chances you have of winning is basic strategy, and this approach to the game is very easy for players to learn and put into practice. Unlike slots, Roulette and other games of chance, Blackjack lets you use skill to beat the dealer. This makes it more mathematical, and more satisfying. Well, in our books anyways!
The Dealer Can Make No Decisions
One of the biggest reasons for the overwhelming popularity of blackjack games at both online and land-based casinos lies in the fact that the player needs to make a number of decisions on each of his or hands, and these affect the game’s outcome. It is thus a more skill-based game than other types, and is more similar to poker in the fact that you are able to influence the outcome, and are not totally reliant on Lady Luck smiling down on you.
However, these decisions will not frequently deviate from those outlined in the rules of basic strategy for blackjack. In this game, the Dealer is bound to play via pre-set rules, and can make no individual decisions, and, since these are thus always the same, basic strategy works on the Player’s behalf every single time.
Basic Strategy is the Only Way to Keep Winning
Basic strategy has been devised by using a system of statistical probabilities which calculate what your best possible move under any given circumstances would be, according to the cards in your hand and the Dealer’s.
The aim of basic strategy when it comes to online blackjack is not only for you to win as frequently as possible, but to maximise any winnings that you do make, by using the Double Down option, in order to reduce the chance of going bust and to minimise any losses, by choosing Surrender or to refrain from Doubling. Of course the house will always enjoy a slight edge, but following basic strategy significantly reduces this edge.
Blackjack at online can mobile casinos is played with newly-shuffled deck of cards from a pack of six decks, and this means that there will generally be 312 cards in total, with 24 instances of each, so the value of strategies like card counting becomes negligible.
Basic Strategy Guides for Online Players
If you look at the basic strategy guides available for free of charge online, you will quickly spot patterns around decisions on when to Hit and when to Stand. There are instances when you should always Hit, and sometimes Double-Down, when your Hand’s value is less than 11, and you cannot bust, and times that you should always Stand on Hand totals of 17 points and more, unless it is a Soft 17.
The best way to learn the basic strategy is not to try to memorise all of the possible Hands, but rather to place your focus on the borderline Hands. As an example: when the Dealer has a Hand total of 7, the recommended strategy changes dramatically from when the Dealer has a 6.
Trying out basic blackjack strategy with free games until you gain some confidence will allow you to make great returns when you start playing real money games. It is true that in Blackjack, practice makes perfect, and you will soon see your bankroll boost when you start applying the basic strategy that governs this game.