If you go through blackjack articles, you will notice a running theme about using an essential strategy to win the game. Is using a strategy being how to win at blackjack games?
We discuss the essence of basic blackjack strategy and how it can improve your odds of winning.
Principal of the Blackjack Basic Strategy
Is the basic strategy the answer to the question of "how to win at blackjack?" While the answer is yes, it is not about winning every single hand or most hands.
Before talking about the strategy, it is essential to understand what "winning" means when playing blackjack. Most people will naturally think that success in blackjack is about winning many hands. However, what if I told you that you could "win" even if you "lose" more than half of your hands? Winning is about having more money after playing several hands, and a blackjack strategy is used to make sure you break the bank. If you staked $100 and walked away with $101, you are one step ahead of the house. To beat the house, you want to walk away with $200 or even $1,000 after staking $100.
The basic blackjack strategy is picking an option that gives you the best edge against the dealer's hand. Let us say you have one of the most misplayed hands in the game, a hard 16 or a ten & six card, against a dealer's 9. Chances are high that you are facing a 17 or higher that can beat your 16. Strategy dictates hitting despite the risk of going bust since getting a card of five or below that can improve your hand is the best way to survive the situation. If you are up against a dealer with a six, it is always best to not hit and allow the dealer to go bust since they need to hit until they get a 17 or higher.
While the two previous scenarios show you how to minimize your losses, a blackjack strategy also pinpoints scenarios that will make you money. One example is holding a hard 11 against a dealer's 5. This hand has zero risk of going bust and has a chance of reaching 19 to 21. An 11 is a golden opportunity to double down, a move where you double your original stake and only draw one card.
Memorizing a blackjack strategy is the only challenging part for anyone looking to get the upper hand against the house. Fortunately, there are blackjack strategy cards, strategy chart generators, and blackjack training software to help you. Utilizing all one or more of these tools should you help you commit the strategy to memory within weeks.
The essence of a blackjack strategy is to lower your losses to give you more chances at having hands you can safely double down. This is how the basic strategy lets you consistently win at blackjack.
Is There a "Sure Win" Blackjack Strategy?
A classic casino myth is a blackjack strategy that will let you win most of your hands. This myth likely came out from the belief that successful and wealthy blackjack gamblers found a math formula they could use to calculate a winning action.
The issue of a sure-win blackjack strategy is its guarantee of winning most hands. How would that work with a hard 16-hand scenario if we take that as accurate? Note that you only have three options to win this scenario, and one of them can result in losing twice your money. Your blackjack odds of winning with a hard 16 are slim, no matter your options.
To reiterate, there is no such thing as a sure-win strategy in blackjack or any other game of chances. There are always scenarios where the odds of winning are against you, and a basic blackjack strategy helps you lower your losses.
Blackjack Betting System and Player's Edge
Do not mistake the blackjack betting system for basic strategies since the former is about changing your bets according to specific scenarios. As for their effect. Betting systems will lower your edge against the house.
Two popular betting systems come in negative or positive progressive styles. Negative progression involves increasing your bet each time you lose, allowing you to get the most payout when you win. Positive progression is about increasing your bet for each win, which lets you get the most out of a winning streak and lower your losses when you enter a losing streak.
One of the widespread negative progression systems is the Martingale System, where you double your bet for each loss. Should you win, you reset your bet to the base amount. As you can see, this betting system is one of the most expensive since you keep multiplying your bet in each loss.
Can changing your bet affect your edge against the house when you win or lose? In this case, the house edge will stay the same or slightly increase from its standard of 2%.
We have to discuss the house edge to understand why the edge did not change. Blackjack has a house edge of 2%, the expected amount the casino can take from its players. Let us say a total of $100 was staked in a table. The house takes $2 out of that $100, while $98 goes to other players as their winnings. Remember that this amount is shared among all players, which is why some people walk away with more money while others leave with less money.
Regarding the betting system, you are changing your bets that are not based on information regarding the dealer's or player's cards. Your odds will always be the same whether you bet $1, $10, or $100, where you are relying on luck to win.
Is Blackjack Card Counting Better?
Card counting, if appropriately done, vastly improves a player's edge against the house and gives you a boost in making money from the game. However, several obstructions deterred card counters over the years.
To explain how card counting increases your edge, we need to explain how it works. Blackjack card counting is a method where you apply value to specific cards. You keep a tally of the total count as specified by each card's value for every draw. The running count indicates what type of cards are left in the shoe. Whether it is a negative or positive count, you adjust your bet to anticipate certain cards coming out for the next game. Using card counting allows players to increase their bet when there is an excellent chance to form a natural blackjack.
Unlike betting systems, card counting involves changing your bet based on the cards that have yet to come out. This reason is why blackjack card counters have an advantage over the house.
Unfortunately, casinos have various ways to deter card counters, such as using 8-deck shoes instead of single-deck ones. Having more decks in a shoe makes deck penetration hard or keeps a tally of the accurate count. Another method is to have security look for card counters and force them to leave the premises.
Card counting is still an excellent way to improve your odds against the house if you can clear any obstructions. Unfortunately, not everyone can use this method in any physical casinos. The blackjack basic strategy is still the best alternative since you are using the drawn cards to determine actions to take.
A blackjack basic strategy will help you win or walk home with more money before playing the game. Unlike a betting system or card counting method, the basic strategy is versatile for any situation.
This article was published on October 30, 2022, and last updated on October 31, 2022.